Now that Halloween is past us we are onto the next step of this amazing fall/holiday season, Thanksgiving and preparing for Christmas! This is a very busy time of year for parents and really people of all walks of life. You start to make plans for Thanksgiving and prep for the insanity that is Christmas. Here are a few of my favorite tips for the holidays or ways to stay sane during this insane time of year.
Have the kids help – We have a 3-year-old and a 5-month-old, this year. It is going to be tough trying to get everything done while still having fun with them but it is SO important. I am one of those moms who tends to cut my kids out a lot because it is just easier to do it myself. It is done in half the time and done right but I am realizing as my daughter gets older that she wants to help. So this year I am going to make a point to give her holiday related tasks to help with.
Plan, Organize, Plan some more – If you are a reader of the blog you probably know that I am a HUGE planner. Without my multiple planners, I would never be able to keep my life sane or on track. I would just sink into a big pile of clothes and dishes and cry myself to sleep. Kinda type A over here. I have three separate planners for this time of year, yes you read that correctly. I have my everyday family planner, my work planner, and my organizer planner.
The family planner holds our everyday tasks, special events, where we need to be when, and household extras we need to do. The work one is self-explanatory but it keeps my three companies focused and goals clear. The last one is where I keep track of what gifts we have bought for the holidays, what I need to contribute food wise to gatherings, and what paperwork is placed where in case I need it. It helps my husband find things in case I am not home as well.
Starbucks and Target – There are few things I love in this world more than Starbucks and Target. I literally cried the first time I saw a Starbucks located inside of a Target. I am slightly basic in that way; sorry but totally not sorry! These are two things that help make my life easier. They keep me sane. Starbucks gives me the caffeine boost I need with a 5-month-old. I know where almost everything is in a Target. I have saved a ton of money doing my weekly shopping there, more on that in a second, and they always have cute things when our home needs a little extra sparkle.
Gift Guides – One of the things I have learned to love during this busy time of year is gift guides! I love them so much it’s not even funny. Bloggers, myself included, do a ton of research and find great gifts for every member of your family, extended and otherwise. I highly recommend checking out every article you can find. We have some great ones here and this year I am focusing on educational toys for kids. These are not gifts you will see anywhere else! Here is a roundup of some of our guides – Round Up Gift Guides
Save yourself some money – This sort of goes with the organization but it is different. Around this time of year, people tend to spend approximately $800 more than they normally do during other times of the year. This includes gifts, food, and decorations. Personally, I could see it being much higher for a lot of people. Definitely, if you have to travel somewhere. So with that in mind save yourself some cash by using apps! I have read about these a thousand times and tried them all. Literally, I have accounts on every platform you can think of. Here are the best ones I have found. Feel free to use my code to start saving!
- Cartwheel – If you love Target like I do this is the app for you! It is super easy and ALWAYS has something on my shopping list. I have saved over $700 using it. That is over a two year period. Not too shabby! They also have awesome toy deals you can only find on Cartwheel around the holidays. Must do if you love this place. Last year they also had a registry app which I am hoping they do again.
- Ibotta – I am sure you have heard about this app. If you sign up for this PLEASE use my referral code: tjgdclt it will give me points for signing people up! This is a rebate app which gives you money back for products you probably already have in your shopping cart at one of their hundreds of stores. I never add something I don’t normally buy and I already have over $75. Not too bad.
- Join Amazon Family 30-Day Free Trial – Joining Amazon Prime or Amazon Family in this case, always saves us money. Yes, it costs up front but once you pay that you save so much it was totally worth it to us. We buy almost all of our Christmas gifts on Amazon and this free shipping saved bundles the last two years. Try the 30-day trial, just remember to cancel if you don’t like it or you will be charged.
Those are just a few of my tips for surviving the holiday bustle around this time of the year. Remember there are plenty of other small things you can do, listen to music you love, be around the people you actually like, and hang out watching fun holiday movies are all top of my list.
Happy Beginning of the Holiday!
Kristin – The Perfectionist Mom
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