The holidays always seem to sneak up on us.  Prioritize these 3 areas when looking ahead at these next 2 months!

Ask your family what they want to do for the holidays.   As kids grow older their preferences can change. Make sure you are not spending time and energy on things they have outgrown.  

Take the revised list of the events you chose, as well as downtime, and schedule them into your calendar to evaluate how your time is looking.  If things are looking too busy, see what activities could be cut. Remember that you will be able to enjoy those activities that you do choose much more if you are not run down and tired. 

The holidays are about being grateful and expressing that to others, whether that be a time investment or gift purchase.  This is the month that deals start rolling in and impulsive spending can be tempting without a plan.  Try to remember all of the post-holiday clutter and how overwhelming it can be in the meantime. 

Consider some alternative ideas, such as planning a group activity to do together or gifting activities the recipient can do throughout the year, especially during the winter months.  A service project is sure to shift a kids focus into the right direction and it never fails what an impact it makes on their hearts during this season of giving to others. 

If some gifts need to be given write down your list of who you typically give to and see if there are ways that this can be trimmed. Or suggest a family gift exchange rather than giving to everyone individually? 

Remember that your children will likely remember all of the time spent together throughout the holidays rather than the gifts that they received.

Make a master list of all the to-do’s, events, meals to plan etc.  Even if it changes over the months, at least you have a place to start!  We love apps like wunderlist to help keep the list updated and at your fingertips digitally, not to mention syncing with others as needed.

Get dates on the calendar especially if coordinating with several families, events and activities or service projects you want to commit to.   Again, another app we love, Easy Calendar, gives you the ability to color code tasks, share with others and view your smart phone calendar a week or month at a time.

Create a location to collect gifts as they are purchased.  Create lists for individuals of gifts as you purchase and wrap so you remember what is inside! Set up a wrapping station or area you can keep out all season, or get a Rubbermaid bin to hold everything if not.  And always wrap gifts as you purchase to prevent  scrambling at the last minute.

Planning is essential to creating a stress free Christmas.  You are the one that has control over your time and, with a little planning and organizing, it is possible to avoid the craziness of the season.  We are here to help you with any of these things and more! Slow down and enjoy all these next few months have to offer us.