Many people will spend their entire holiday season rushing from place to place, and stressed to the max. Tempers flare in the race to December 25th. But who wants to do that? There has to be a better way, right? For a Christmas that has less stress…and more fun…follow these easy steps to simplify your holiday. Streamline your way to an Ocean Isle Christmas that you and your family will never forget! Whether you are on vacation or staying home, you will love having a holiday that focuses on the things that matter.
6 Short Lists That Will Make You Organized
Lists are an amazing tool to help keep your holiday organized and running smooth. Some may choose to make their lists the old fashioned way...with pen and paper. Just be sure to store your paper list in the same spot so that it doesn't get lost. Your purse or wallet is a great place, so that you will always have your list with you. Many people with prefer a more techy approach to their list...opting for a digital version on their computer, tablet, or phone. Whichever way you choose, keeping holiday lists will be sure to create mental space to have a happier and less chaotic holiday season.
1. Christmas Dinner Menu and Shopping List
If you are planning to prepare a Christmas feast for your family, you will want to create a menu. As you work on the menu, start a shopping list at the same time. Be sure to check your ingredient list against your pantry. There is nothing worse than standing in the grocery aisle, trying to remember is you have nutmeg at home. If you will be traveling, and cooking in your vacation rental,
consider bringing some of the staples with you (especially spices). You may want to include snacks, Christmas breakfast, etc. on your list as well. And don't forget to plan for leftovers!
2. Gift List
Some of you already have your Christmas shopping done, while other haven't started yet. But it's never too late (or early) keep a well organized list of gift ideas for those on your "nice" list. It's also a great idea to include "already purchased gifts" on this same list. That way, at a quick glance, you can see what else needs to be purchased. Have you ever wrapped a ton of gifts, and then couldn't remember what was in each package?!? Well, this list will give you a good reminder!
3. Holiday Prep List
What has to be done to get ready for the holidays? As you countdown to December 25th, keep a running list of the things that you would like to do. Purchase Christmas tree, hang outdoor Christmas lights, bake cookies, string popcorn, clean out the refrigerator, etc. If you have a date or deadline for any of these items, then write it down! This list will help to fulfill all your holiday desires (and chores), and keep things from sneaking up on you.
4. Keep a Calendar
Okay, this one really isn't a list. But a calendar is the perfect tool to keep you from missing out on tons of holiday fun. Search the newspaper or online for parades, flotillas, Breakfast with Santa, church programs, Toys for Tots deadlines, work parties, etc. Then, transfer then onto your calendar. Include the "maybe" activities along with the "must attend" events. This way, if you have a free evening, you can look at the calendar and see if anything is going on....and it will hopefully keep you from double booking yourself!
5. Thankful List
Thanksgiving is over, but that doesn't mean that we should stop being thankful. Unfortunately, in the hustle and bustle of the season, it is all too easy to lose sight of the things that really matter. Keeping a "thankful" list through the entire holiday season will help keep you focused on the things you love the most!
How to Shop Local & DIY for Awesome Gifts
From small family owned businesses in the Ocean Isle Beach area, to the large outlet malls of Myrtle Beach...there are certainly no shortage of shopping choices. However, there is something pure, organic, and simple about choosing to spend your shopping dollars at locally owned shops
. Many people will consider it more "simple" to shop online at big box stores. But it isn't REALLY simple. Most products are sourced from overseas, and it takes a lot of natural resources (fuel) to get it from the factory to under your tree. There is something so great about buying hand-crafted and locally made items. And how about gift certificates to family owned restaurants, gyms, auto detailing, etc.? It is so important to support local businesses.
Another idea for a simple Christmas is DIY. Do it yourself gift options range from bake goods, crafts, "coupon" for a yard clean-up or back rub...the options are endless!
5 Wonderful Ways to Be a Blessing
'Tis the season of blessings. And what better way to spread some Christmas cheer than to be a blessing to others. Random acts of kindness are just the thing to bring your family together, and give back to your community (or your Ocean Isle Beach, home-away-from-home community).
1. Order a pizza or deliver some cookies to some community heroes (police, firefighters, teachers, military, etc.)
2. Plan a goodie bag and personalized cards for your neighbors.
3. Do a good deed...rake leaves for an elderly neighbor or hang some Christmas lights for a new mom.
4. Bless a stranger by paying for some of their groceries...or buy the coffee for the person behind you in the drive-thru at the coffee shop.
5. Angel Trees and Toys for Tots is also a great way to get blessing a child or family in need.
Quality-Time with Family that Will Make Your Heart Happy
Christmastime is a time for family! But many families are pulled in many different directions during this time of year. Planning some specific quality-time with your family will make your holiday picture perfect. Grab some hot-cocoa, and load up the car for an evening of Christmas lights watching. Or spend the day in the kitchen baking cookies. Another great idea is to spend some quality with individual members of your family...have a craft night or coffee date. And don't forget about the really simple things, loved by kids from 1 to 92...pick one of the many great Christmas movies, cuddle up on the couch with some popcorn, and take in the sweet picture of your loved ones gathered together!
But no matter how you choose to spend your holiday season, may it be one that is filled with simple joys and sweet times with the ones you love. Do you have any traditions that keep your Christmas simple? Please tell us about them!