Are you ready for a holiday countdown that leaves you more equipped to handle the holidays and less stressed at the end of it? This holiday countdown is designed just for you! The Stress Less Holiday Countdown is designed so that each day does one of the following:
- Save Money ($)
- Save Time (T)
- Plan Ahead for Less Stress (P)
- Make the Most of the Season (MM)
Holiday Countdown for November – (First, take a deep breath)
23 – (MM) – Thanksgiving! Give Thanks for the many blessings we know and the blessings we don’t know. Fully enjoy the day with your friends and/or family (and don’t bother to count calories).
24 – (P) – Black Friday – If you are planning on joining the nuttiness, prepare ahead by going through the ads and map out a store by store game plan. If you can take advantage of the sales from your home and avoid the stress of the crowds – brilliant! Check out BlackFriday.com for store by store breakdowns.
25 – (MM) –Small Business Saturday – Between special discounts and events held at your local stores, it might be worth your time to go out and check out the small businesses in your area on this Saturday. Some of the most unique gifts can be found at local stores and you will be helping out someone in your community.
26 – (MM) – Enlist your family to help you decorate your house unless you prefer to do it yourself. Maybe you are a perfectionist and your tree must be “just so” and if it brings you joy then go for it. But, if you can make it a family affair, they get to have fun too and it means less work for you!
27 – ($) – Cyber Monday – See if anything on your list can be bought from the comfort of your home. Have a list with your target shops bookmarked on your computer. See what you are able to snag at good deals before they run out of stock.
28 – ($) – Reduce the stress in January of overspending, by setting a Holiday budget now that you can live with. Use a program like Every Dollar by Dave Ramsey to create and track your Christmas Budget.
29 – (MM) – Consult your family now for the things that make the holidays special to them and add these to your calendar. If Christmas cards don’t make the list, oh well.
30 – ($ and T) – Save money and time by using Hip2Save’s website or mobile app. Hip2Save is a deal compiler with a daily summary of what are some of the best deals in stores and on the internet. Personally, I have saved so much money using this app!
Holiday Countdown for December – (And, take another deep breath)
1 – (MM) – Ask yourself what makes Christmas feel like Christmas to you. Go ahead and schedules these in the calendar.
2 – (T) – Invest a little time now to save time later by utilizing your slow cooker. At Living Well Spending Less, they have freezer meals down to a science and have the recipes to prep 10 meals in an hour.
3 – (T) – Create a spot for all of your Christmas wrapping supplies – Scissors, tape, name tags, bows, rolls of paper, gift bags, and boxes. Have this space fully stocked and ready to go. Then, if you have 30 minutes with nothing to do you can wrap a few things so you don’t have to do everything the day before.
4 – (P) – Look over your schedule. See if there is anything you can reschedule until after the new year. Anything that is stressful, optional or guaranteed to make a huge mess (like home improvement plans that can wait) would be first on my list to reschedule.
5 – ($) – Start looking for grocery deals for the big meals and baking. If you see butter go on sale, go ahead and buy it and save it for later, etc.
6 – (M) – If you are stumped for gift ideas for people, pick a theme for the year. Maybe this year, all the ones you are stuck on receive movies tailored to their interests, the next year books, and so on.
7 – (P) – Have a “mobile” Christmas unit ready of things you can do in the car while you are waiting that will help you get ahead. Include a cookbook for meal planning, catalogs to shop from, seasonal magazines for inspiration, Christmas Cards, etc.
8 – (P) – Pick out a “go to” outfit for special dinners and events now. Have it ready to go in your closet – either the basic black dress with a fancier necklace and heels or the more casual route of pants, solid blouse, fancier necklace and dress boots.
9 – (P) – Schedule some down time to do those things that recharge you.
10 – (T) – Have extra time while waiting at an appointment or in line? Have web sites queued up on your phone and research the best prices for the items on your list.
11 – (M) – Brainstorm ways you can give back in your community if you are able to do so. (I love the idea of leaving gifts for a family experiencing a rough time at their door.)
12 – (P) – Give yourself permission to say no to anything you don’t really want to do.
13 – (T) – If you are able to utilize a meal planning service like Emeals, use your phone to select the items from a grocery service like ClickList and then just pick them up ready to go. You just saved about 2 hours per week (planning/shopping), not to mention saving money on the impulse shopping (and saved the stress of waiting in long lines!).
14 – (P) – While you are at stock up on the basic household stuff – Paper towels, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, paper plates, napkins, cups, laundry detergent, etc. This way you don’t have to make multiple trips to the store and save time later.
15 – (P) – Pre-wrap, sort, pay, clean, etc. anything that you can (you may see a theme here). Preparation and planning really do make your life easier!
16 – (T) – Watch the Hallmark Channel Christmas movies and knock out some more wrapping while you are at it.
17 – (T) – Keep a list on your phone of those items you still need to purchase in the Notes section and check them off when done.
18 – (P) – Make sure your meal planning for the day before a big meal is something easy (or fast food to go).
19 – (P) – Cleaning for the big day – Again, I hope you aren’t the only one actually doing the cleaning. Please enlist help so you aren’t as grumpy as Scrooge when you are done!
20 – (P) – Travel – If you have to travel around the holidays, remember to pack lite. Here is some great advice from Adore Your Wardrobe on how to fit your belongings into one of the small, stow-able suitcases. (I am always working on this one to be honest.) She created this plan for business. However, I think you could make it work if you focus on the number and not the actual items.
21 – (M) – Put forth your best self-care practices while you are in the final stretch. As tempting as it might be, now is not the time to skimp on them. You will regret it later.
22 – (P) – If you are hosting events like Christmas Dinner or Christmas Lunch, make sure to enlist help ahead of time and set expectations. This may help alleviate the “everyone else is in a food coma on the couch, while you are doing dishes alone” nightmare.
23 – (P) – Hopefully all of your pre-planning has paid off! You should have all of the presents bought (and hopefully wrapped). You’ve cleaned and you have the big meals planned and shopped for, right? If not, today is the day to finish it up so you can enjoy tomorrow.
24 – (M) – Christmas Eve – My wish for you today is to enjoy it! Put on some Christmas music you love, take a nice bath, relish whatever traditions you like to do for Christmas Eve and get a decent night’s sleep.
25 – (M) – Merry Christmas!! You made this last month look easy. Have fun and experience the best of what makes this season great.
You did it! My hat is off to you. I hope you enjoyed this holiday countdown. If you would like to join my newsletter and receive a weekly positive news update, please sign up here and receive a FREE printable on ways to recharge today. Here’s to a great new year to come!