It might seem a little early to post about preparing for the holidays but the whole point of preparing is to do it early. I don't believe in stressing for Thanksgiving or Christmas. That's missing the point of both holidays. I'm also starting my Christmas decorating so in this and future blog posts, I may be including shots of some of my favorite Christmas ornaments. I've been collecting ornaments since I was in high school so there aren't enough posts to include all the pictures but I'll show some of my favorites.
|A fellow ornament collector, Linda, was kind enough to gift me with this Christmas cupcake ornament|
My stress-avoidance means doing a lot of stuff ahead of time so when the big day(s) arrive, I can enjoy it. By that I don't mean just stocking up on cookie doughs for the freezer, ready to be baked at a moment's notice when I need a gift or to go to a party. Although that is one tip/trick I do every year. But this is also the time of year to do other kinds of prep.
Stocking your pantry:
|Buy bananas early and give them time to ripen|
You know those 40%-50% off coupons from Michaels that come out pretty much every week? I use those throughout the year to get parchment paper and plain treat bags. As the holidays approach, I also use them to start buying holiday-themed packaging items like Christmas cellophane treat bags, cupcake liners, and decorated treat boxes. The best time to buy that stuff is as soon as your store stocks them, not when the holiday is actually getting nearer. Once we're full swing into holiday season, those items go on sale but at less than a 40% discount so you're better off when it's regular price and you can use a 40% off coupon for it. Plus early on is when you get the best selection.
|Thanksgiving is fast approaching - 'tis the season for pumpkin pie|
|One of my new additions this year - "tiramisu"|
Which means I either shop online (Cyber Monday is superior to Black Friday), I bake my gifts, or I buy stuff way ahead of time. Throughout the year when I do buy something, I ask for a box, whether it's for a gift or not. So when December comes, I already have a stockpile of boxes to use if I need them - which beats standing in line at the store in December to ask for a box for a gift I just bought. Usually I don't even need boxes anymore as lately I've been giving more gift cards and service-oriented items.
Ultimately, you have to do what works for you - some people love the last-minute frenzy (I'm not one of them), some people enjoy a minimalist holiday so the spirit doesn't get lost in the letter, and others believe in letting it all hang out as their expression of enjoying what they love about the holidays (that would be me in case it's not obvious). Whichever type of person you are, do what you love and share with those you love.