Getting a Head Start on the Holidays!

By Heide Kennedy, Arizona Farm Bureau Communications Intern

Temperatures are dropping and the leaves on some trees are beginning to fall as we are entering the holiday season. Usually, this season is incredibly enjoyable and festive! But it does come with its fair share of stress, especially as we make plans and preparations for all the parties, hunt for and purchase gifts, and entertain guests. Getting a head start on the holidays can help to alleviate some of that stress and give you more time to spend enjoying friends, family, and the festivities of the season.

Here are some tips on how to get ahead of the game this holiday season!

Make lists

Making lists isn’t just for Santa! Writing lists is a great way to organize your thoughts and plans for the upcoming holiday season. Making lists of gift ideas, menus, to-dos, guest lists, and décor to buy is a great way to start off your preparations. It will get you thinking in the right direction and help to make sure you don’t forget anything later on.

Buy gifts early

It is never too early to begin thinking about what you might be giving as gifts this year. Keeping an eye out for gifts ahead of time means that you won’t have to shop during the holiday rush. So goodbye delayed shipping dates, long checkout lines, and out-of-stock items!

Bake treats ahead of time and freeze

Certain baked goods that you make during the holidays are best made fresh. But there are others that taste just as good thawed from the freezer. Items such as cookies, coffee cakes, cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls, etc. can be made ahead of time and frozen, and then thawed prior to serving. Or you can even just freeze the dough and then bake them at a later date!

Designate a gift closet

As you buy gifts, it’s good to have a single place to hide them. That way you don’t do what my mom did and forget where she hid some gifts until the next Christmas rolled around and she found them by accident! An empty closet or cabinet is great for keeping gifts hidden away, and it’s also great for keeping a stash of extra gift items for those last-minute hostess gifts, or unexpected guest gifts.

Plan parties early

Decide a month or so in advance the date, location, time, and menu of your party, as well as who you will be inviting. Also, purchase the necessary items early as well. This will alleviate a lot of stress as the party date nears, because you will have already had everything figured out, leaving you with only the cleaning, food making, and decorating.

Doing some of your holiday prep early can help you to have a less stressful holiday season that lets you spend more of your time with friends and family.

For more holiday articles, check out the Fill Your Plate blog!

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