How to Prepare for the Christmas Holiday Season

As winter approaches, a lot of people start to think of the Christmas holiday season. It is a time for family gathering, exchanging wishes, giving gifts and having lots of delicious food. For many people, it is also a time to go on vacation or visit relatives and friends. All of this requires money and planning. Therefore, you should start preparing as soon as you can.

Here are a few suggestions on how to prepare for the Christmas holiday season.

  • Create a budget: It’s quite hard to enjoy Christmas or a vacation with money worries on your mind. Therefore, the key to having a merry Christmas and a happy new year is to create a well thought out budget in advance. Make a list of all the things you will need to buy, all the people you plan to invite, and all the places you plan to visit. Work out the total costs. Calculate how much money you will have available and divide the money among the headings as you see appropriate.

  • Make a Christmas gift list: Giving gifts is as central to Christmas as having a Christmas tree in your living room. Make a list of everyone you plan to purchase a gift for and write down an appropriate gift for each. Try not to wait until the last-minute when the Christmas shopping rush begins. Start looking now so you can avoid the rush as well as get your gifts at a cheaper rate. If you are having a hard time thinking of what to get for someone, try buying a gift card, which is great for those hard-to-buy-for people.

  • Buy Christmas cards: Although digital cards have become the norm, many people still like to receive real, old-fashioned Christmas cards. Choosing and buying Christmas cards can take a lot of time. But don't go for a standard card for everyone; choose a different personalized card for each person.

  • Clean your house: A neat and clean home can brighten up your Christmas and help create a cheerful ambience. Now’s a great time to do a thorough cleaning before December rolls around.  Clean the rooms, kitchen, bathroom, doors, windows, roof, attic, balcony and patio. If the walls look old, worn out or dirty, give them a new coat of paint.

  • Decorate your house: Beautifully done Christmas decorations give your house a festive and help spread happiness all around. Start decorating in the beginning of December. Put up a mix of coloured lights both inside and outside your house. Christmas light bulb clings are great for windows. When decorating, pay special attention to the living room and dining room. As the big day approaches, buy a Christmas tree and the lights and ornaments to go with it. To save time and money, you can buy a Darice® Pre-Lit Canadian Pine Artificial Christmas Tree Candlelight LED.

  • Book your vacation: If you are planning a Christmas vacation, then you should have already booked your hotel and transportation. However, there is still time if you haven't. All inclusive holidays are recommended for most families, since they are cheaper and more convenient. You will find a wide range of Christmas holiday packages to choose from, such as "tropical" holidays in the Caribbean and skiing holidays in the Switzerland and Austria.

Picture by Lynn Wigell

By Shondell Varcianna

November 07, 2014