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Thanksgiving is the event here in the states that signals the commencement of the winter holiday season, but regardless of where you call home around the globe, mid-November tends to kick-off the holiday festivities for the winter season abundant with holidays to celebrate.
From Hanukkah to Christmas, Kiwanza, the Winter Solistice, even Boxing Day and finally New Year’s, the season is bursting with reasons and events to celebrate, savor and, yes, plan for so that the final weeks leading up to each new year are an opportunity to relish and anticipate.
Earlier this month I shared how I enjoy the three weeks in November leading up to Thanksgiving as it is a time before the holiday season and an opportunity to catch my breath without expectation from the outside world. But please do not misunderstand. I am no Scrooge. I adore the holidays. In fact, as an adult, with each passing year, I have enjoyed them more than I thought I could beyond being a child during such a wonderful time of year, as I discover how to tailor them to my lifestyle, as well as work with and savor this special time of year with those I love.
Last weekend, I found myself snuggled up with my planner becoming eager for the holiday season to begin as I started deciding what and how to decorate my new home. From when to pick up the tree, what, if any, new exterior lights to purchase and which holiday cards to order to send out as is per the annual tradition to family and friends I have spent far too little time with over the year but still wish to stay in touch.
Today, I’d like to share with you 10 ways to prepare for a holiday season you will most enjoy as it will be tailored to you and those you love. Now mind you, this list is not just for Christmas, not just for Thanksgiving, but will also take us through to the days after New Year’s. After all, an auspicious start to any new year is the reason to tend well to the last few remaining weeks of the old year that currently is but will soon be no more.
1.Select your holiday cards and design and determine when you will send them
Maybe you send your cards out without fail at the beginning of December, but maybe you are someone for which purchasing “New Year” cards would be a safer bet to ensure that whenever they arrive during the next month and a half, they will be relevant and appropriately festive. Below are a few cards I have found you may want to send to those you love and express holiday cheer.
SHOP Holiday Cards:
2. Plan Your Gift Shopping Before Black Friday
Saving money is only truly savings if you are able to purchase what you want, and while there is guaranteed to be some wonderful saving opportunities when Black Friday and Cyber Monday arrive, knowing what we need and what we need not be tempted to buy is crucial.
Be sure to stop by TSLL on Friday November 29th as well as Satuday November 30th as a list of sales will be shared, but in the meantime make sure your holiday shopping list for not only gifts, but also supplies for decorating, meals and simply enjoying your time during the hoilday season is complete.
3. Plan and Send out Invites for Holiday Gatherings and Soirées
Plan now for any gatherings you will have at your home whether they be for a few people or many, determine when you will have them and how early you will need to begin inviting your guests. The holiday calendar offers only so many weekends, and weekdays if such dates are available to you and your guests, and dates fill up fast. Let guests know ahead of time of your festivities which will help you plan more precisely for how many people will arrive.
Why Not . . . Have a Dinner Party? (2 parts)
4. Determine how to celebrate with your neighbors and colleagues
Whether you enjoy making holiday baked goods to share with your neighbors and those you work with or doing something that lets them know you are thinking of them and are appreciative of their being in your life, plan now to ensure you have enough time to bring even more cheer to your immediate acquaintances who play a role in your everyday life and you theirs.
5. Decide upon and schedule your favorite holiday activities
Maybe there is a certain local performance you enjoy attending with family or perhaps you are a ski bunny and want to hop up to the mountain as many times as possible, whatever would be part of your best holiday season, make sure to carve out time to enjoy it.
6. Plan and order fresh holiday decor
Whether you pick your fresh garland up at a local nursery, make the fresh wreath that hangs on your door yourself or drop by the local Costco, plan now for what you want, what would work best with your budget and when the best time might be to purchase it so that it looks and smells its best for the moments that matter to you and those in your home.
7. Elevate your interior decorations
Eliminate decor that is a hassle and brings no joy when having to set up, and instead think thoughtfully about what embodies the holidays within your home. Is a large or small tree to your preference (and budget)? Do you like to hang stockings? Do you like the stockings you have? How many lights are perfect? How many lights are too much?
This time of year is a wonderful time to edit out and donate the decorations you no longer need or want, and if necessary begin to carefully curate the decorations that best suit you, your loved ones, and reflect your journey and values. Not only will you be saving yourself space after the holidays in your storage, but you will make next year’s decorating all the more enjoyable and simple.
8. Holiday baking and cooking
What is your palate craving when the hoildays roll around? What treats will you want to make and share? Have fun teasing your tastebuds as you plan the goodies and even the menu for the soirée you will be having at your house. Place any necessary orders now for special items on the menu.
9. The Tree
I recently read this post from House & Garden UK regarding how to decorate a Christmas Tree like one of their editors, and quickly took note. From adding additional foliage from other plants to add depth and a signature touch, keeping it simple with regards to the decorations is always a good idea as well. Whether you shop for your tree at a farm or find your own out in the wilderness with a tree permit or choose to place a faux tree in your home, consider a one or two hue color palette and have fun finding details that make the holiday tree signature to those who call it their holiday tree.
10. Plan a recovery day or weekend in the new year
From planning a relaxing weekend getaway after the champagne corks have popped to simply carving out a day or two at home with no responsibilities and time to just put the holiday decorations away, consider this an act of self-care, plan now and guard fiercely these days. In so doing, you will ensure a better chance of an auspicious start to the new year as you will be well rested and thus thinking clearly, confident in the first steps you take into 2020.
The holidays can be a wonderful time of year or an extra job. When we spend a bit more time planning and thus tailoring the following six weeks to our lives, we can ensure the former is our experience each year: thoughtfully curated so that you as well as those you love, have a wonderful time of year.
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