If there is a common wish for Christmas that goes unanswered every year it would have to be celebrating an organized Christmas.
From the food to the decorations to managing all the parties and events it seems that no matter what efforts are made there seems to be not enough time, too much to do and no way to fit it all in.
There are planners and calendars galore.
People share pictures, menus, recipes, patterns, and resources for everything Christmas.
But for many the organized Christmas eludes them because it seems time runs out before plans come to fruition.
Many a time I have heard people say, “There has GOT to be some way to get ahead of it all”.
There is. Here is the grand secret to a better, more organized Christmas:
Spend your money right NOW.
Right now, between Labor Day and Halloween is the time to blow your Christmas budget, no matter how large or how small.
That’s it. You’re welcome.
Oh wait. How’s this work, you ask?
Well, it’s simple.
Calculate how much you’re going to spend on everything for Christmas. Any control freak who is bent on an organized Christmas does this anyway.
The problem doesn’t come from the budget. The problem comes from putting a time limit on when to spend the budget.
In fact, because the season is so long many BLOW their budget because they get so caught up in things they don’t know where to stop and the lose their focus.
Let me tell you about my friend, Jan.
She is what I call double OCD. She’s a control freak about her home, her kids, her hair, her car, her everything. Plus she’s a rabid Christmas fanatic. Obsessive Christmas Disorder is more than a wry slogan on a t—shirt. Jan lives it. Christmas is her life.
So she plans. She fusses. She figures everything out – months in advance.
And Christmas is when she cracks. Every year.
The problem is she never stops. She is never done. There are no limits. And no limits are a very bad thing for anyone who is OCD.
So when I say spend your money now what I mean is plan to spend however much you’re going to spend and do it right away. Begin and END it.
Do this and you’ll have the most organized Christmas in your life.
Start easy. Budget for the big events first, and work backwards to the small stuff.
Decide how much you’ll spend for decorations, for food, for events, for gifting, for charities, and for anything extra you typically spend on Christmas.
It’s easy to figure out. Just pull your bank and card statements from last Christmas. You’ll see in black and white what things really cost in retrospect.
This is painful and it takes just a smidge off the fun of anticipating the season.
But you’ll sacrifice a little anticipation for a higher quality, more organized Christmas, wouldn’t you?
Of course you would. Hang with me here, now.
Once you have your well researched list take a vow to get out there and spend it quickly. And I mean as fast as you can. Give yourself until Halloween but get it done earlier if you can. In fact, the earlier you get the shopping done the more organized the rest of your Christmas will be.
Buy the decorations you need. Do all your gift shopping now. Even buy the packaged and canned ingredients for the Christmas goodies you plan to make now. Make it so that you only have to go to the store for the fresh stuff – the eggs, the butter, the milk and the eggnog.
Whatever your Christmas budget, SPEND IT NOW.
Now, ladies, I can hear your protests.
If I buy now I won’t find what I’m looking for. If I buy now I’ll get the wrong stuff. If I buy now I’ll spend more.
Let’s take each of those objections one at a time and talk about why each of them is wrong.
If I buy now I won’t find what I’m looking for!
Really? Are you serious?
Never in the history of shopping are things more available than in the months of September and October. And, ladies…nobody else is looking at this stuff because they aren’t as organized as you are.
Honestly. You’ve never known the joy of real Christmas shopping if you haven’t done it when nobody else is shopping for Christmas.
All the new fall and winter stuff is in – and on sale.
All the old spring and summer stuff is still around – and on clearance.
Nobody is buying because, well, it’s not Christmas.
Retailers, by the way, are really bored right now. And desperate.
They are looking at the weakness of their year-to-date sales and wondering how bad they are going to have to mark things down to meet their Christmas projections. Worse, there’s nobody coming in the door so their panic starts now. They are desperate for sales right at the time when you’re desperate to spend. What a happy combination!
If I buy now, I’ll get the wrong stuff!
Really? What the world are you buying any different than last year? Decorations? The stuff has been up in the stores since June and the selection is broad because…nobody’s bought it yet. The crowds are waiting until after Halloween to buy Christmas stuff.
Christmas is tradition and nothing is more traditional than the food. You’re going to make Santa the same cookies, you’re going to make the same recipe of Grandma’s fudge, and you’re going to make the same stuff you always do for Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Unless it is fresh ingredients, what’s not going to keep for the next 90 days?
What about gifts?
Guess what? Whatever will go under the tree is in stores now. ANYTHING.
But…if I buy now I’ll spend more!
No you won’t. There is no secret to the prices of November and December other than they are higher than the 10 other months of the year. Forget what you think you know about Black Friday and Cyber Monday and door busters and all that stuff.
You will be amazed at the higher quality, cheaper stuff you can buy in September and October if you just get out there and buy now.
So, let’s recap: the secret to an organized Christmas is to buy now.
How does that make you more organized?
Well, if you don’t have any spending to do in November or December how will you spend your time?
You can’t leave all those gifts sitting around unwrapped for three months – if you buy them now, wrap them now!
If you can’t make the food now what do you do with all the food stuff you buy? You organize it, you put it in one place and…check this out…you plan which days you will actually make the stuff.
The decorations…if you buy them now what will you do with them come the first week of November? Shucky darn if you won’t actually decorate come November 1st.
Well, look at this, will you? By buying now you’ve got the food, the gifts and the decorations all well in hand by the first part of November.
What does that mean for your December?
Well it might mean a higher quality Christmas after all.
So go spend – right now.
And you’re welcome.