Hobbies on a Budget: Things to think about doing before the holidays get crazy

By Sharon Williams

Contributing columnist

Can you believe it?  It’s less than 50 days till Christmas.  If that number strikes fear in your heart and causes you to stress out, take a look at these things that we should all do this week to keep us from overstressing over the holiday season. 

Clean your bathrooms:  If you are planning to host family or friends for holiday parties, you don’t want to do a deep clean the day before the party. Start your cleaning now before you start decorating so you can just do spot cleans before the party.

Make the trip to the thrift store:  Remember all those boxes and bags of things you’ve been putting in the garage to donate?  Get rid of them now.  You’re going to need the garage for the car when the weather gets nasty.

Clean out your dishes:  The last thing you need when you are hosting parties is a bunch of old Tupperware falling out of the cabinet or plastic water bottles scattered on the counter.  Do a quick sweep of your dishes and toss or donate the things that are broken or no longer needed.

Pull out the winter gear: Take a few minutes and look through the family’s winter coats and gloves.  Does everything still fit from last year?  Do you need to replace any snow boots or hats?  Before the weather starts to get colder is a great time to find out if you are going to need to do some shopping.    On the flip side – if you find that there are things you no longer need, like or plan to use, then discard them.  Donate them so someone else can get some use out of them during the coming winter months.

Love it or lose it:  When we start putting out holiday decorations, we often store back the year round knick knacks and every day décor.  But do you love it?  This is a great time to decide if you really love that thing that sits out on the bookshelf?  If you don’t love it, lose it!

Do your Christmas cards today: Some people have given up sending Christmas cards, but if you still plan to send them out, then do it now!  You can sign them, address and even stamp them now and not have to worry about it when the holidays get busy.  You can then decide if you want to mail them early or just have them ready to drop in the mail the day after Thanksgiving.  Either way, you won’t have to worry about them later.

Wash your linens: Of course, all bedding should be washed regularly throughout the year, but with company coming for the holidays, it’s important to do a sweep of all the linens in your home.  That includes all the throws that live on the couch or in the closets.  By getting everything clean now, you won’t have to worry about that when it’s time for the holiday sleepovers.

Stock up on some snacks:  When family comes to stay, it’s important to have some easy snacks for all the guests.  Buy an extra box of cereal or granola bars each time you go to the grocery now, so it won’t hit your budget the week of the holidays.

Start shopping now: Some people love to shop on Black Friday weekend.  Others love the last minute rush of December.  But for me personally, I love the idea of shopping now before I get rushed.  On Hobbies on a Budget, I have some great gift ideas if you need something new to consider.  Sometimes it’s the out of the box gift ideas that you never thought of that tend to be the most fun. 

What do you think you can do now to prepare for the holidays? I’d love to hear!

For more ideas on hobbies and life, check out Hobbies on a Budget: www.hobbiesonabudget.com.