The Ultimate Holiday Checklist
The holiday season always seems to come with extra tight deadlines, end-of-the-year reports, and far more responsibilities than any human being should have to handle. When you're juggling a million things, from work to family and all the holiday stuff in between, it's difficult to remember every detail. Here's your ultimate holiday checklist to make sure nothing is forgotten.
Make A Timeline
The first thing you should do is make a timeline with all of these items and anything else you have to add. Things like finding a tree and buying gifts should be finished early, saving things like making cookies for work a little closer to December 23rd. A calendar or timeline will help you stay on track so you're not in a frantic scramble in the last week.
Tree & Decorations
Once December starts, there's no excuse to not have a Christmas tree! Take a family trip up to the tree farm early in the morning before the lines get too crazy. You can always head to Home Depot, but supporting a local farm is much nicer, easier, and faster. Once you've got the tree set up, enlist your little helpers to hang ornaments and garlands while you set up the rest of the house. Update your bathroom decor with scented candles and holiday towels, hang stockings, and get a wreath. If you can get all your decorating done over the course of 1-2 days, you can transform your home into a holiday wonderland, and won't have to worry about it the rest of the month! Just one weekend of boxes and then back in the attic they go!
So you're busy, and it's the holidays...and you want to eat cookies. That's all the more reason to schedule workouts in your crowded calendar. The more barre classes you go to, the easier it will be to keep those cookies from reaching your derriere. Even if you can't possibly keep up your summer workout routine, make sure you're getting in at least 3-5 hours of exercise in a week. If that means you have to run to the store with a list and walk back, then so be it. Even better: ride your bike. Squeeze in a 30-minute workout video when you get up in the morning and try to take the stairs a little more frequently. Your body will thank you!
Meal planning can be tricky. You might not know what's available at your local stores or farmer's market off the top of your head, so it's a good idea to do some research. Find out what is carried seasonally in your area, and plan your meal around those items. Read each recipe completely, looking for hidden time-killers like "let dough rise overnight." Buy a little extra of each individual item to account for spillage and leftovers. It's always better to have too much than too little! Make sure you plan for make-ahead or freezer-friendly appetizers and desserts so you can focus on the main dishes and sides the week of your party or event.
Categorize your gifts by store and location. Once you've crossed off a large chunk of your list by shopping online, it's time to map out exactly what you need to get at each store. You can head to just 1 or 2 stores a week, so you can hopefully cross everything off before the week of Christmas. Anything to avoid visiting the mall on December 23rd!
Gifts for All
You should absolutely make a list of all the people you must buy gifts for this year. We're talking co-workers, kids' teachers, friends, family, bosses, and your pets. Try to brainstorm many different ideas for each person, just in case one of them is hard to find. Bear in mind that something like a batch of cookies or homemade crafts can fill the need of 5 or more people's gifts, especially for teachers and co-workers. Always have a few backup gifts ready, either homemade or store bought, that are mostly age and gender-neutral in case you forget someone!
Now that you've got your gift list prepared, start scouring the web to find the best deals on gifts. Buy in bulk when you can, and order online to avoid the crowded parking lots and hectic stores. Keep track of what you can get online, including discount books and electronics, and which places have the best in-store deals for the items on your list. Make sure you schedule this early to ensure delivery before the big day! Nobody wants to pay for overnight shipping because they forgot to order Great Aunt Milda's doilies on time.
Here's another item to add to your checklist that will make a lot of the other "to-dos" a whole lot easier: shop The Lakeside Collection. Whether it's holiday recipe cookbooks, seasonal decor for every room, or the perfect gift for anyone on your list, we have this special season covered.