Holidays are here! This is the time of the year where the hustle and bustle of people through the malls and markets are never ending. You can hear the Christmas carols everywhere. There are gifts to buy, wrap and give to our loved ones and friends, there are foods to prepare, recipes and ingredients to buy at the grocery, people are lining up restaurants for their awaited get-togethers, companies scrambled to find the best places to held their parties and kids are so excited in receiving gifts. For busy mommies, sometimes the number of activities and tasks in preparing for Christmas and New Year is so overwhelming. Like this Christmas and New Year, holiday break is very short because the holiday falls on a weekend and you need to squeeze your schedule to meet all your errands and it does not include the number of parties and get-togethers we need to attend.
How will you make your holidays bearable? Are you excited to see all our dear family and friends during the special season of the year? Do you expect get lots of gifts and meaningful time with your loved one? How do you plan to survive the holidays?
I am neither connoisseur nor Martha Stewart for party planning during holidays but I would like to share some of my tried and tested tips on how to survive the holiday madness:
- We started on house decoration after the Halloween. Since we were already busy after our Singapore trip last November, our Christmas shopping was done a month earlier. Hubby and I availed the exclusive sales held in our office and advertised fairs to shop for toys and books for the kids, so half of our Christmas list had already been done last October.
- Instead of going to Divisoria to shop for additional decorations, we scour the nearby stores in our place to save time and money. I must admit Divisoria is the haven for all bargain finds for Christmas decorations and house furnishings but I do not have the patience to weave through the throngs of people ( I think I am really getting old :P) so our best option is to scour thrift shops and stores nearby for our planned Christmas decorations and supplies
- Create a Christmas list and set a budget for your Christmas activities. Since most moms loved to shop it’s too tempting to go overboard with the budget because of Christmas bonuses, but it is highly recommended to create a list so that we don’t double the gifts we are buying and control our spending. The list is a confirmation that if it’s not on the list then do not spend and waste time.
- If you plan on spending your holidays at home, start on preparing for recipes for the family to share. It is also best to list down all ingredients so that you would be able to determine which grocery items you need during the holiday preparations.
- If you have get-togethers with friends, instead of lining up in the restaurant, hold a potluck among friends to save up on food expenses and feel the spirit Christmas through sharing of your special food and good laughter.
- Plan out your schedule during holidays. If you plan to go out during holidays, make sure to leave the house early to avoid the unnerving traffic during the later hours of the day. And if you plan to do a staycation in nearby hotels, better make an early reservation to avoid the high cost during peak season.
- If you have extra budget it is best to buy ahead of time, make use of the promotions and sales offered at mall to avail discounts and save up on purchases. Better if you are also buying in bulk for additional discounts and use your rewards card for additional gifts and freebies.
- Recycle. Last year we have left over gift wrappers and decorations. Some of our left-overs were used during this season so as to avoid buying another bunch of gift wrappers. Our Christmas tree was re-used and redecorated with different theme. Before buying any additional stuff, check out your existing inventory you can use for Christmas decorations and take care of your Christmas decorations so you can reuse it again for the coming years.