Organize your Holidays
New Years Eve/New Years Day
Staying home on New Years Eve? If you have small children New Yearís eve is the perfect opportunity for you to let them try to stay up until midnight. Rent some special movies and break out the favorite snacks. The countdown shows are not usually totally suitable for children. Switch over to television coverage to catch the dropping of the ball and celebrate.
Going out on New Years Eve? There are lots of things to consider but first of all should be safety. If you plan to go out and celebrate by drinking, also plan for how you will be getting home. A designated drive is an obvious must. Unfortunately though, everyone may not follow this plan so you may want to make hotel reservations or plan to stay overnight at the party location if possible. I canít think of a better way to celebrate a new year than to be healthy and alive!
For the kids - this is a great holiday to put their crafting skills to the test. Get out the construction paper and fabric scraps and have them make some valentines for loved ones.
For their classmates at school - shop the week after Valentines for the cards and put them away for next year. The boxes are small to store and the savings are large.
For you special someone - make it easy on yourself - start a gift tradition. Do they collect anything that you can add to? Do they have a sweet tooth? Maybe time away from the kids for a stay at home mom would be appreciated.
Consider reaching out to an elderly neighbor or residents of a nursing home. Some of your homemade cards and a smile would really brighten their day.
Shop for other decorations and teacher gifts the week after Valentines and store them away for next year. Mugs, candles and cards have no shelf life.
St. Patrickís Day
Not Irish? Its still a fun time for all things green. Make sure to wear something green on that day.
Irish? Go all out on your special holiday. Remember the rules for celebrating responsibly (in New Years Eve section) and have a great day.
Easter is the Christian celebration of the Risen Lord.
It marks a new beginning and new life for those who believe in Jesus and that He died on the cross for our sins.
Decorating for Easter can be fun after the long dull winter. Like the other holidays, the best time to stock up is the week after the holiday and store for the following year.
Make an egg tree in your yard. Poke a hole in the bottom of some plastic eggs. String some fishing wire through the hole and tie it off on a washer. Hang them from the bottom branches of your most prominent tree.
Make and Easter tradition of dying eggs. As with the decorations, the egg dying kits are dirt cheap after the holiday and can be stored for next year.
Remember your mother on this day with a greeting card - no emails allowed and a phone call.
Is she hard to buy for? Start a gift tradition. Get her a gift certificate to her salon, favorite restaurant, or phone company.
This is a day to recognize all those who have died in service to our country.
If someone in your family, or that you know has served in our armed forces remember to thank them on this day.
Make sure to own and American Flag and fly it proudly on this holiday.
Kick off the summer with a cookout.
Invite that neighbor you havenít met yet, or spend it with good friends.
Remember your father on this day with a greeting card - no emails allowed and a phone call.
Is he hard to buy for? Start a gift tradition. Get a golfer a gift certificate to his favorite club, a fisherman a certificate to the bait shop, etc.
4th of July
This is a celebration of the birth date of our country.
Treat it like a birthday - have a cake the kids will love it.
Break out that American Flag again and fly it proudly.
Find the local fireworks show and go early for a good seat.
Get a few small legal fireworks and celebrate in your own backyard.
Have another cookout.
Get wet - visit the local pool and cool off.
Not into ghost and goblins? Focus on the harvest festival aspect of this time of year.
Call you local churches for information about harvest or fall festivals that can take the place of trick or treating.
Local farms often have hay rides to pumpkin patches too.
Donít try and rush Christmas Ö. I know the decorations have been in the stores since before Halloween.
Enjoy the day with your family and friends.
Agree to host and have everyone bring a dish - donít take on the whole burden yourself.
Consider buying a prepared turkey. Donít miss out on the fun with family because your are busy preparing the meal.
Make sure to verbally give thanks for all that your have.
This is the Christian holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ the Son of God.
Minimize the stress and enjoy the reason for the season.
You can knock out your shopping in one trip. Make sure to have a good list and dollar amount for each person detailed. Make it a year for books. Head to the store and pick out books for gift cards for those who are hard to buy for. The next year it could be a year for music.
Group your decorations by theme. It makes an impact with less clutter. I put all of my Santaís on the fireplace mantel. All of my angels go on the hutch. My snowmen are gathered on the coffee table.
Buy an ornament at every vacation. As you decorate the tree these are special mementos that help you remember fun family times.
Buy and ornament for each of your children each year of their favorite activity or movie or TV character. Keep a running list stored with the ornaments. If you can bear to part with them, give these ornaments to your children when they have their own tree.
Invest in some storage tubs that are color coded by the holiday they contain. Red for Valentines, Blue for 4th of July, orange for Halloween, etc.
Two weeks before the holiday - except for Christmas which can be done a month ahead - you can easily find your decorations in your attic or storage area.
Christmas decorations can be left up through the new year, other holiday dťcor should come down within the week following the holiday.
Remember to shop after the holiday for the best buys.
Be discerning, its only a good buy if you like it and will use it. Donít buy junk just because it is 75% off.