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Checklist to Get Your Holiday Shopping Done Now

christmasI know it sounds a little extreme but I’m a big advocate of starting my Christmas shopping in August. Getting all the presents bought by Thanksgiving allows me to relax over the holiday season and avoid the shopping amateurs waiting until the last second and clogging up the mall parking lots in December.

Follow this month-by month guide to have a stress-free holiday season:

August – This is a great time to start planning and thinking about who you need to buy for and what you want to get. Each year I make two lists using Evernote. One list is of everyone I exchange gifts with for Hanukkah and Christmas.  I write down ideas for gifts and reference my list from last year to make sure I don’t get the person the same gift twice.  The other list is of random ideas, websites and clippings of gift ideas I’ve found throughout the year with no particular person in mind. I have an ongoing “gift ideas” notebook in Evernote of fun gift ideas. Read more

20 Apps To Beat Holiday Stress

Christmas gifts.The holidays are here! Historically, I would already be in crazy list-making mode by now, probably making the most of the cbd ‘buy wholesale here‘ deals, and making sure I’ve bought gifts for all of my loved ones (I shop early and you should too!), planning holiday meals, and creating to-do lists just for decorating. It’s easy to Install apps so if you need an app to beat the holiday stress, it’s easy to do. But not this year! I’m still making lists, but I’ve learned to simplify my holiday season with a few great apps that do everything from finding the best deals to preparing the perfect meal for all of your guests.

If the holiday season is overwhelming you, download a few of these apps to help you stay sane:

1. Food 52: Is a vegan coming to your Thanksgiving dinner? Do you want to learn how to set a holiday table? Or brine a turkey? This app features recipes, advice, and products to teach you how to become a “smarter, better, happier cook.” It’s a great, quick reference for all things food.

2. TaskRabbit: I love this app so much! Think about all the things you could be outsourcing this holiday season: writing out holiday cards, waiting in line for the new “it” gift, shopping for all the items on your holiday grocery list…the list just goes on and on! Have someone else run your holiday errands for you!

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Fab Find: Cross Off To-Dos with HandyBook

Handybook LogoIf you’ve ever hosted Thanksgiving, you know how much has to get done before the turkey gets served. This year, many will be celebrating the first night of Hanukkah on Thanksgiving as well, and that means double the prep! This is the time of year for long to-do lists, so it’s important to remember to get help to avoid getting burnt out and stay cheerful! Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. Get outsourcing! Read more

3 Ways to Be Less Stressed for the Holidays

christmas 2007

christmas 2007 (Photo credit: paparutzi)

It’s pretty much impossible to not feel the heat when the holidays arrive. Gift giving, traveling, entertaining, cooking, parties, expenses, family — the list of stressers go on and on! For the past few years I’ve been making a conscious effort to go easy on myself. Here’s some of the ways I combat holiday stress:

1. Start holiday shopping early: Don’t wait til the last second! It will only stress you out. You have more than enough time to get gifts for everyone on your list without doing the crazy person dash on Christmas Eve. Online shopping is pretty much the best invention ever. Use it to your advantage! Lots of retailers offer free shipping too. Read more

Start Your Holiday Shopping in August

I’ve officially started my holiday shopping. Yep, I mean the holidays that come in December. Yes, I know its only August and I have four months to go. But I always begin my holiday shopping in August and so should you!

While I was in Lake George on a mini-vacation this past weekend I found the perfect gift for my sister-in-law. I can’t tell you what it is in case she reads this but it’s just her style! She has unique taste and I like to get her gifts that illustrate that. So when I saw it – I had to get it. And I was able to check her off my holiday list. Yay!

Make a List and Check It Twice

Every August I make a list of all the people I need to get Christmas and Hanukkah presents for. When you have a large family and a lot of friends it’s easy to forget someone. This way you don’t even have to think about it. This year I decided to put my list in my Evernote app. It’s an app that you can access on your computer, phone and iPad. You just make a list and it syncs up in all those places so you can see your list wherever you go. It’s great for jotting down ideas and calling up your list when you’re in different stores.

Researching Gifts is Fun

My side of the family celebrates Christmas and Jay’s celebrates Hanukkah. So I make two lists by holiday because they fall on different days this year. I put down ideas for gifts that I’ve heard the person talk about or think they might like. Shopping early and listening to family members needs is a great way to find out what they would like for Christmas. My dad said he was having problems with his car battery, therefore I’m looking at a guide on the best car battery chargers 2019 so that I can find something that he will want! I do research on the Internet and when I’m in the stores so I have several ideas and can price out different gifts. I’d much rather put some thought into gift giving than make it into a task that I “have to do.” Think about the shops you need to visit before you go on the shopping spree. For example, if you know if you want to buy a new necklace for your wife, remember to visit some Reading jewellery shops whilst you’re out.

This becomes an ongoing task over the next few months. I like to really think about what that person will like to receive and get the most use out of. I also have a bunch of family members with November and December birthdays. I make a list for birthdays too…without one…I’m a stressed out mess.

Benefits of Starting Early

I hate shopping with all the amateurs in November. You know who you are – waiting til the last second…clogging up the mall parking lots. I refuse to do it. It’s much less stressful this way and it makes holiday shopping fun — not a chore.

Plus it helps me manage my money better. If you do all your shopping in November and December your credit card bills will be through the roof. This way you spread out the spending and you’re able to take advantage of deals throughout the year.

Think of all the cash you could save with back to school, Labor Day and Columbus Day sales. Cash in on online shopping deals too. Overstock.com and Amazon.com are two of my favorites for gift giving. They usually have very cheap shipping rates too.

Using this system – I’m usually finished with my holiday shopping and wrapping by Thanksgiving. I use the extra time to really enjoy planning out menus, decorating and spending time with family. Oh yeah – isn’t that what the holidays are all about?

Happy Shopping!

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