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A Slice of the Pie: The ABCs … of holiday prep

Advocate for yourself and for your family. Have the difficult conversations now so you don’t have to have them later.

Buy now or later? Some people – myself included – like shopping during December when the stores feel more festive, while others like to have it all done by December so they can focus on something else. You decide!

Call for appointments: Need a haircut so you look good in holiday photos? Want a post-holiday massage? Get it on the calendar!

Deliver presents purchased closer to home by shopping Etsy or buying from sellers located in the recipients’ hometown. It cuts down on shipping costs and is a great way to support a small business or craftsperson.

Email your boss with any dates you will need off work before it’s too late.

Flying can be stressful. Consider whether traveling during the holidays is the best way to spend quality time with friends and family.

Grouping gifts according to interest – reading, traveling, cooking or sports – can make shopping easier and more fun.

Hone your organizational skills by creating master lists for things like holiday card recipients, gifts to purchase, items to budget and goodies to bake.

Invest in gifts and ingredients made nearby.

Joy is the goal. Try to find quiet moments for gratitude and taking stock of what is going well.

Keep a year-around gift list in your phone. Then, when you are ready to do your Christmas shopping, you already know
what to look for.

Look for that perfect holiday card photo well in advance, so you’re not scrambling to find one later.

Make meals ahead. It’ll be one less thing you have to do when your schedule gets busy.

No – it’s OK to say it, even when you know you’ll be disappointing someone.

Organize your wrapping supplies early. Buy some paper, tape and ribbons and locate your scissors. You’ll thank yourself later.

Prioritize what is most important to your family by asking yourself, your spouse and your kids what events are most important. Put those on the calendar now.

Queue in the post office in November when the lines are short to purchase stamps and send gifts – just don’t forget to label them “do not open until Christmas.”

Reminisce about past Christmases to see what you want to do again this year.

Schedule an elf day. Block out as many hours as possible for Christmas prep – shopping, wrapping, Christmas cards, even deep cleaning the house. Make it fun by listening to holiday music and indulging in your favorite treat.

Teacher gifts are a wonderful way to say thank you. Purchase them early so you won’t run out of time to write a heartfelt card.

Urge your family to partake in the holiday preparations – it can be part of the fun!

Value your resources – think quality over quantity – when it comes to gifts, time and even holiday treats.

What gets you into the holiday spirit? Cocoa? Scented candles? A Christmas sweater? Put together a holiday cheer toolkit just for you.

anything off your list that no longer serves you. Remember, just because it has been a tradition doesn’t mean it has to continue being one.

Yoga – or whatever exercise makes you feel great. Do it and keep on doing it even when the holidays are at their busiest. It’ll help you combat those holiday indulgences and vastly improve your mood.

Zzzz… Get enough sleep. Holiday events tend to run late. Don’t forget to plan some early nights as well.

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