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    10 Tips of Organizing for Making the Holiday Season Joyful

    The Holidays are coming upon us and the best way to reduce stress and save money is to plan ahead. So here are some tips on how to stay organized during this busy season:

    1. Make a list of all the people you need to buy gifts for remembering to include your children’s teachers and any special people. This prevents the last minute gift buying frenzy.
    2. Gifts bought ahead of time should be kept in one place. If gifts are kept or hidden in several different places, it’s inevitable that some will be forgotten.
    3. Make a list of all gifts bought and their intended recipient. Keep the list with you at all times. This will prevent you from buying for the same person twice.
    4. Unless you have an endless budget, don't start too early. Many people that buy too far in advance spend more money than they would like.
    5. If your child’s school has a low cost Holiday gift-buying program, then participate. If they don’t, bring your younger children to the dollar store to buy gifts for each other. They take a lot of pride in their choosing and it’s great to watch them.
    6. Buy your wrapping paper and Holiday cards at the end of the current season for the following season. This is a huge money saver.
    7. If you want to send Holiday cards, then schedule it on your calendar. Remember that this is a project, so break it down into tasks and then schedule the tasks. For example, you may want to break the project down into the following tasks: Print out address list and update any unknown addresses; make a list of all card recipients; buy cards; buy stamps; address 20 envelopes per night; mail cards. Pick a date that you would like the cards to be mailed. Then schedule your tasks backwards from that date.
    8. Pack all your Christmas decorations in similar containers. This way they’re easily identified when you retrieve them from your attic or basement.
    9. Schedule your events carefully. During the Holiday season it seems there are endless invitations to parties and gatherings. Overbooking yourself and your family can prove to be stressful, unhealthy and unwise. Be selective about who you say yes to.
    10. Stick to regular bedtimes and routines as much as possible. With the chaos of the Holidays, it’s more important than ever that children get rest and have a sense of normalcy in their life.

    The Holiday season is supposed to be a joyful time. Over scheduling and over buying can be stressful and costly. So take some time and make sure your plans are in place.