Top 10 List on things you can do NOW to prepare for the Holidays:
(1) Get yourself a PayPal account
PayPal is a service that enables you to pay for things without revealing your financial information. A paypal account enables you to have a very secure on-line shopping experience and most retailers will accept this method of payment.
(2) If you haven’t already done so, start NOW to make your Holiday Shopping Lists
Of course there is always immediate family and friends but don’t stop there. Think outside the box and try to think about the people who you seemingly manage to forget about each year. Don’t forget to include teachers, sports coaches and babysitters. In many cases, you could save money by having your child make a thoughtful card.
(3) Determine / Finalize your Shopping Budget
Let’s avoid going into debt. Figure out what you can afford and stick to your budget. Keep your receipts. In the event things go on sale most retailers will give you a price adjustment. Pay attention to store policies.
(4) Go now and stock up on your Wrapping Supplies
You can stock up now on wrapping paper, gift bags and scotch tape. Don’t forget the gift tags, decorative ribbons and a sharpie!
(5) Stock up on your favorite Wine and get Decorative Wine Bags
You will likely be invited to house parties and events. Some may be by spontaneous invitation. Plan ahead and stock up on a few bottles of your favorite wine and get pretty bags to put them in. Having them ready to go now will save you from stress later.
(6) Start Clipping Coupons
Now that you have your list, you can start to scour on-line for coupons. If shopping on-line, be sure to hunt for coupon codes. Find stores that offer you free shipping and returns (like Zappos.com).
(7) Food Preparation / Recipe Planning
Do you have spontaneous friends pop in during the holidays? For those spontaneous guests be sure to keep finger foods and beverages in the house at all times.
(8) Holiday Decorations in need of a Face Lift?
It’s not too early to check out what you have stored away in your garage or attic, this way you know what you need way in advance. Do you need new Christmas stockings this year? The store are already buzzing with these things. No need to wait.
(9) Stocking Stuffers
The $1 stores make for great stocking stuffers and so do the $1 bins at Target, Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond. You can do this EARLY. I personally love to fill my girls stockings with practical items like hair ponies, lip gloss, perfume, and small items I can get at my local crafts store (like Michaels or AC Moore)
(10) Plan a holiday party. Send out your Invitations now
Now that you are so organized, plan a holiday party. People are busy this time of year so mail your invites early. If you prefer a night of adults only, be sure to lock in your babysitter. Keep things simple by hosting a cocktail party – serve appetizers and champagne.