Today was a perfect family day. The weather was amazing and I was out at Toronto’s Woofstock (our dog festival) with ‘the fam’. We were also together to celebrate my mom’s, grandma’s and brother’s birthdays.
I love getting together every year and doing something in the city at the end of the summer. But it’s also a gentle reminder of what’s coming – the holiday season. As I write this (September 27tth) there are only 88 days left until Christmas. I haven’t decided if that sounds like a lot or a little, but I do know that the holiday season comes faster than you think.
My mom’s birthday usually falls around Canadian Thanksgiving so it’s really the first signpost of autumn busyness. Next is Halloween, and then American Thanksgiving is soon after. Here in Canada that just means that Black Friday sales are everywhere and retail stores are eagerly reminding you that you’re running out of time. Then, for many of us, it’s time to buy gifts and food, plus achieve all those goals you set out this year on New Year’s Day, ten or eleven months ago.
Right now, luckily, we’re not quite in the thick of it yet. We have some time to sit back still and maybe do a little planning and time-management strategizing, which is exactly what I intend to do.
Every year I say I’m going to buy gifts early. I’m pretty good at sticking to this but I really want to be done done. Not, ‘I have one more little thing and then I have stuff to wrap’ – NO. I want to be done, ready, relaxed and set to enjoy the autumn and the beginning of winter from outside of the mall.
So, what’s my plan?
I’m not totally sure yet – it is still quite early. But I think it involves some sort of shopping trip in October to buy EVERYTHING and then in November I wrap it all up and focus my energy on goals and end of the year lose ends. I think it also may take the form of starting my Christmas cards now too and having them ready to send by early December.
The point is, I’m sick of feeling rushed and pulled in so many directions at this time of year. And I know I’m not the only one who loves the fall season and the change to winter.
So, if you don’t have any family member birthdays to remind you, let me be the first – Winter is Coming! So have a plan to manage your time so you can enjoy it, rather than dread it. Even if it’s not a fully formed plan (as mine clearly is not either), the fact that we’re at least thinking about it is a good start. This helps us to keep it on the brain and when we’re out shopping from now on, we may pick up some gift ideas early on.
Time-management Tips for The Holidays:
- Buy gifts early (and somehow label who they’re for…I’ve forgotten why I bought something for someone in the summer by the time Christmas came.)
- Fill out Holiday cards early
- Create your Holiday E-card and save it for later
- Do away with Holiday cards altogether
- Buy gifts in multiples for younger family members
- Keep your receipts all in one place
- Set a date, long before Hannukah and Christmas, for when you want to have your shopping finished by
- Relax. Give yourself some time off from the craziness between Thanksgiving and New Year’s to have a day off. Go do something to enjoy the season like going outdoor ice skating by yourself or seeing a holiday movie on your own. You can also use this time to reflect on 2015 and what you’ve accomplished this year and start dreaming about next year.
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