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How to Prepare For The Holidays

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Toys“R“Us for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Now that Thanksgiving is over, we have holiday shopping, Christmas music and time well spent with our nearest and dearest to look forward to. The holidays are my favorite time of the year but I’d be lying if I didn’t say they were also one of the most stressful. While I love just about everything this time of year, it does take some planning and preparing to make sure the holiday is the best it can be. So let’s snuggle up in some warm blankets, grab a hot cup of cocoa and talk about How to Prepare For The Holidays! how-to-prepare-for-the-holidays

How to Prepare For The Holidays

Preparing for the holidays is much like preparing for a new baby. There are months of anticipation and thinking ahead but then wam-bam all of a sudden it’s time. You thought you had more time to get things ready but that date is coming whether you like it or not and it’s coming fast. The best thing you can do is breathe and prepare. So take a deep breath with me and read some of the ways I prepare for the holidays:

Create a budget. It’s imperative you know how much you have to spend during the holidays. Don’t just create a budget for gifts, make a budget for anything holiday related including new tree decorations and even wrapping supplies. Knowing how much you have to spend, will help ease the stress of trying to find the money or pay off that debt later on. Set a budget and stick with it.

Create a wish-list for everyone. Something I like to do is make a chart with all the names I need to buy for and what they want. For my immediate family, I have my boys create a wish-list using the Great Big Toys”R”Us Book of AWWWESOME. Two reasons why I do this: First, the Great Big Toys”R”Us Book of AWWWESOME literally has dozens and dozens of toys to catch my kids eye. They can go through and circle what they want (I have them color code their items). Second, it makes it easy to get what I need in one place. Once my boys complete their wish-list I can take it with me and get exactly what I need while shopping online or in-store.  Want to know a secret? The Great Big Toys”R”Us Book of AWWWESOME actually has the item name and if you look closely under each item name and description, there is a little code. It is the item code so while I am online competing for an item, I don’t have to worry about typing the name of the item correctly. I type the item number in and BAM it shows up like magic. Totally a great way be one-step ahead of the shoppers.

A list is imperative so you aren’t just shopping blind and clicking profusely to put anything and everything you can in your cart. Lists allow you to stick to looking for specific items so your time and effort is focused.  Compare prices. Say it with me… “not all stores are created equal”. Seriously, one quick search for an item on Google will produce multiple options with multiple prices. If I am shopping for toys I always know I get the best price at Toys”R”Us but if for whatever reason their price is higher than somewhere else, I price match it right at customer service. No spending insane amounts of time driving from store to store, I can get shopping for my boys (and sometimes my husband) done all in one place. If I do happen to be shopping online, I like that they offer free shipping on $19+ which is so easy to reach compared to many online retailers. screen-shot-2016-11-24-at-9-48-22-am For everything else besides toys I do search and search until I find the best price. It saves me money and I get to stay within my budget. Win-win. 

Make a to-do list. Aside from holiday shopping, what other important things need to be done for the holidays? Make a list (and check it twice) so you know exactly what needs to be done and when. Having a list and a schedule go hand-in-hand. Organize your tasks from most important to least important and schedule appointments – and even alone time – into everything. It’s easy to forget about yourself when you are so busy this time of year. I also feel like having a list and crossing things off as they are completed is so satisfying, don’t you?

Get others involved. I really enjoy shopping for holiday gifts but my husband doesn’t. Although I will do the bulk of the budgeting and shopping, there are other things I can give to him to help make the holidays bright while taking a load off my shoulders. Things like decorating the exterior of our home, unloading the car and hiding presents, and even getting our chimney ready for fires are all things that need to be done that I can give to someone else. You can do the same and keep your sanity a little better during the holidays!   I hope these tips help you prepare for the holidays. As always, remember that Toys R Us has everything you need for kids of all ages (even adult kids like my hubby). You  can create your Wish List and even Get Inspired by visiting the Toys R Us website. What other tips do you have for preparing for the holidays?

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