- Have a family meeting and decide where you will spend Thanksgiving and the winter holidays. Start checking travel sites to find the best prices on airfare and hotels.
- Make sure your family calendar is up to date. Most teachers are organized enough to tell you in advance when they need treats for Halloween parties, when the holiday concert has been scheduled and when the holiday vacation starts. Plan now for childcare during winter break.
- Make sure you know what your children want to be for Halloween. This will avoid the last minute scramble to the costume store.
- Think about holiday cards. If you want to send a family photo have it taken now instead of waiting until the last minute.
- Start planning your holiday budget so that you can stay on track. If you are on a budget, suggest a Secret Santa gift exchange with family, friends and colleagues.
- Start planning your Thanksgiving meal – if you are cooking. By planning ahead of time you can take advantage of sales in your local grocery stores.
- Pull out holiday decor and assess what to use or toss and replace. Shop sales to find new decorations.
- Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year, but you can find sales all the way to the big day. If you can find time during the weekday to shop do so – stores are less busy.
- Start wrapping gifts as soon as you buy them. You’ll keep little eyes from seeing gifts early.
- Make double batches of cookie dough. Now you have extra for holiday parties and school cookie exchanges.
- Think about sending your holiday cards on-line.
- Assess your holiday wardrobe. Plan outfits now so you won’t scramble later. Take clothes to the dry cleaner and have shoes repaired.
- Ship gifts. Skip the post office and schedule an at-home UPS pickup.
- Instead of throwing a holiday party, have a girls night out instead. Get mani-pedis, drink some bubbles and giggle with your best friends.
Finally, remember the holidays are a time to celebrate and enjoy your family. If you don’t bake all the cookies on your list, or your house isn’t Martha Stewart worthy – don’t worry.