Twelve Busy Days of Christmas

Before the days of December slip by, follow this fast-track countdown to complete your holiday to-do list in less time. So, put on your running shoes and you’re off.

Day 1: Update your gift-buying list. Write down all the gifts you’ve already purchased and for whom. Separate the accumulated gifts into family categories. Keep all gifts for each family together in one box or bag. Pull out holiday decorations and spend 30 minutes or so each day decorating. thebusinessdays

Day 2: Figure out what gifts you still need and what you will need for any upcoming parties, including hostess gifts or for co-workers. Look at the advertisements. Plan your holiday meals.

Day 3: Buy all out-of-town gifts to be sent. Before buying gifts, consider how you will send them. Books are great gifts because you can send them through the mail by book rate, reducing your costs. Don’t put those gifts away because tomorrow you’re packing them up.

Day 4: Wrap and package all out-of-town gifts to be mailed. If you run out of packing material, use the shredded paper from your shredder. Tuck in your holiday cards and photos, too. bareng88

Day 5: Gather your holiday greeting cards, addresses, postage stamps and return labels. Write all greeting cards to be sent. Have the kids help by creating an assembly line. Assign one the task of putting on stamps and labels. Older kids can easily address the cards. Don’t forget to write a short holiday newsletter to let everyone know what’s new. This will save you from writing a personal note on each card.

Day 6: Finish any greeting cards you missed the day before. Start wrapping gifts.

Day 7: Take your cards and packages to the post office. Avoid going during lunchtime or at the end of the day, if possible. You’ll hit longer lines because most folks try to run errands on their lunch hour and business people stop at the post office at the end of the work day. Try to go first thing in the morning to get in and out quickly. storygame

Day 8: Have family members try on their holiday outfits to see what items are missing. If you do not have something for everyone, now is the time to buy it. Consider pairing green or blue sweaters with black slacks or skirts. You’ll get more wear out of these items. Make a list of everything you need to buy. This will eliminate finding out you don’t have an essential item you need on Christmas morning.

Day 9: Make it a marathon shopping day. Purchase the gifts you need for the remaining recipients on your gift list. And buy the necessary holiday apparel. Stock up on loss leaders from local grocery stores. sportsyearly

Day 10: Entice the family members into having a cookie bake. You can do this with your immediate family or extended family. Turn on the holiday music, pull out the ingredients and bake away. At the same time, make a slow cooker meal.

Day 11 & 12: Wrap, wrap, wrap. Create a gift-wrap station, keeping all of your supplies handy. Get the kids involved. They can add bows and gift tags. Older kids can cut the paper.

Now that the Twelve Days of Christmas are over, you can relax for a bit. Brew yourself a cup of Christmas cheer and enjoy. knowledgehype

Copyright 2001, 2006 Mary Jo Rulnick

Mary Jo Rulnick is the author of THE FRANTIC WOMAN’S GUIDE TO FEEDING FAMILY AND FRIENDS (Warner Books) and THE FRANTIC WOMAN’S GUIDE TO LIFE (Warner Books) Rulnick has been featured nationa magazines, including BETTER HOMES AND GARDEN and QUICK AND SIMPLE MAGAZINE. Rulnick is an award-winning writer for Parenting Publications of America. Rulnick, a former events manager for a national non-profit organization, turned her do-it-yourself expertise into a writing career. Her articles have been published in magazines throughout the United States and Canada and she specializes in home, family and life issues. gossipcare


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