While I don’t put nearly as much effort into Christmas Post-Planning as I do into Pre-Planning – I find that investing a bit of time now will really help me the following year. Here’s a rundown of things I’ve found beneficial.
Christmas Card Pictures
Make those Christmas cards count!Family and Friends put so much effort and attention into those beautiful Holiday cards –why not make them last? This is a great suggestion I read in Women’s Day magazine: take a picture of holiday photo cards and then upload that pic as the contact photo in your phone. That way every time you call Aunt Sally during the year ahead you’ll see her festive photo in place of the “blue avatar head”.
Advent Calendars are a fun ritual we enjoy at my house. My daughter and I each get one (okay, possibly two) and then this past year we also picked up a small, inexpensive one for our pups to share. They’re a bright spot each December day and we look forward to this little treat throughout the month. But – Advent Calendars in general have become quite popular and many varieties sell out. So, I put a note in late October to go ahead and prepare to order the ones we definitely want. We really liked the David's Tea one this year.
Gift List Pages
I use the Holiday Gift list pages in our KIT Holiday Planner to log in all the wonderful gifts we each received on the 25th. Then I use that list for making sure I get thank you notes out. Generally, I’ll send a combined note to family members for anything given to the hubby and me – but I still “strongly encourage” my daughter to write Thank You Notes for all her spoils. The week after Christmas we make it a goal to get 2-3/day done so we’re all complete before the New Year. If you missed our Holiday Planner this year – here’s a peak.
Reorganize Gift Wrap
In the days after Christmas as I begin the dreaded task of un-decorating that’s also the time when I clean up and re-organize my gift wrap space. Instead of rushing through this I try and take my time and assess what I have leftover and what I need for the year ahead. It’s such a money saver if you can buy wrapping paper, bows and tissue paper on clearance! And I salvage any gift bags, boxes and ribbon/toppers I can. I also gather up any extra, unused greeting cards, gift card holders I might still have on hand and put those on a file folder along with any holiday magazine clippings and recipes I’ve collected that year. There are always gift lists, cookie recipes, time saving tips and such that I’ve torn from magazines but perhaps never got a chance to fully implement or research– so I save those so I can reconnect with them early in the next season.
This year, I also started a Kindness folder. After participating in the #Adventofkindness Challenge with Christopher Allen for the second year in a row I saved the printout from that, along with some “you’ve been RAK’d” cards I made and a few inspirational cards I downloaded and printed for free. This is something that has brought me so much joy – I definitely plan to continue engaging and expanding upon this tradition.
Elf Jenny and Me - Spreading Kindess!
Holiday Photo Run-Down
Another task that really helps with planning ahead is to take the time and gather, edit and upload all your holiday photos to Snapfish, Shutterfly, etc. Once this is done, I find that I’m much more likely to order prints and make albums. Additionally, I try and do this right after the 25th – that way I can order prints quickly and include any pertinent photos when we send those Thank You Notes. Grandma and Grandpa always appreciate seeing our daughter displaying her favorite gifts!
I don’t know about you – but invariably throughout the season I grab screen shots on my phone of Instagram inspiration- for example:
Top Holiday movies to watch
Top SNL Holiday Skits
Top Spotify Holiday playlists
You get the idea….
To make sure those handy lists don’t get lost I make a folder in the Notes section of my phone and save them all there with a holiday related title.
Holiday Bucket List
Lastly – it may sound counter intuitive but I go ahead and start a “Bucket List” for next Christmas. Each year – there are lots of fun bucket list items we enjoy during November and December – but we never get to it ALL and we tend to ADD one or two things each year as other experiences may change or drop from the list. For example – now that she’s 15 I can’t get my daughter excited about taking her picture with Santa at the mall – but she’s definitely on board or a trip to Universal Studios to see the lights.
There you have it. Hope you find a helpful idea or two in this list. As with anything – a little planning goes a long way to adding peace and joy to your life! And those are two things we can enjoy all year long!
Please chime in below with any post Holiday planning tips you enjoy. Best wishes for health and happiness in the 12 months ahead –
Hugs – Jessica