Your December Three Step To-Do List

It’s mid December! The month is flying by. Before you blink twice, it will be Christmas Eve and the stores will be closing early so families can gather for the holiday weekend. There are some people who make lists and never forget anything at the grocery store. But then there are others like me who always end up running out for one last ingredient because I didn’t plan ahead. For those of you who are like me, here is your to-do list to carry you through the next few weeks of the holidays.

3 step checklist

Your December Three Step To-Do List

Make a List:

And check it twice three times! Are you planning a holiday Christmas Eve dinner? Do you need fixings for a Christmas morning brunch? What are you going to set out for Santa and the reindeer? I can’t tell you how many times I ended up creating the most unique reindeer food you can imagine. “No, Mommy didn’t forget about the reindeer! They LOVE to eat Cheerios and oatmeal!”

Whether you plan to do major baking or just a few basics, you don’t want to run out of these basics – Eggs, cocoa powder, butter, milk, cookies, sprinkles, pancake syrup, hot chocolate, flour, brown sugar, popcorn, coffee… Think about what you plan to cook and plan out your grocery list.

Recently I received the Amazon Echo as a gift. Have you seen this yet? You can just talk to it and tell it to make your shopping lists. Whether you use something like the Echo, or just pull out paper and pencil, make your list!

    Have you planned out your meals for Christmas week? Whether you are planning to do a laid back sandwiches and chips lunch on Christmas Day or plan to bring out the turkey and all the trimmings, you need to be prepared.

  • Do you have any parties where you need to provide desserts or snacks?
  • Do you have any cookie decorating plans with the kids?

Everyone will have a different list to take to the store but there are a few basics that you will probably need. And don’t just concentrate on the food. Think about the other things you will need to complete your holiday tasks. Do you have plenty of wrapping paper and tape? You definitely don’t want to run out on Christmas Eve when you are trying to wrap the last present to place under the tree.

Plan your outfits:

The next few weeks will be filled with school parties, children’s choir events, church activities and possible pajama events at school, Think about the different activities you and your children are involved in. If you know they are going to need Christmas pajamas next week, buy them today. Are they singing on Christmas Eve and need a red sweater? Go to the store now. Stores will often sell out of their holiday clothes long before the holidays actually happen.

If you do any online shopping, don’t forget to check for savings, rebates and coupon codes at Mr. Rebates or Ebates; these sites only take 2 extra seconds and are legit! They will return a percentage of your purchase back in a rebate.

Don’t forget the Extras:

There are many opportunities to give extra gifts during the holiday season. I have been picking up a few extra gifts anytime I go out and find sales. Not only are there work place gift exchanges, but there are school gifts, teacher gifts, Angel Tree, gift donation boxes and Secret Santas. Pick up a few generic gifts to keep in your gift closet so you can quickly be ready for an unexpected gift need. These don’t have to be elaborate or expensive. The clearance racks at many stores are a great place to stock up on these extra gifts. If you can find gifts for $3-$5, then you will be ready for the surprises.

The holidays are a wonderful time of year, but they are not for the disorganized. In order to get the best out of this season, you have to think through these three important but basic steps.

Do you feel ready for the next few weeks? Got any tips to help you get ready? I’d love to hear!

Excerpts of this article first appeared in the print edition of the Advocate Messenger, Danville, Kentucky 12/13/15.

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