“Hot Nude Yoga” and Other Consequences of a Holiday Unprepared — Why You Need a Holiday Handbook!

SHEW!!!!!  We MADE IT!  The holidays are over!  Time to start gutting our homes, cutting our calories, and preparing ourselves for whatever 2012 has to offer.  *deep breath!*

This year’s Christmas was trickier than normal at my house.  Our youngest was born in mid October, then we had Halloween.  Then we had a week of traveling on Thanksgiving.  Then Chrismas just started happening before I even gave it permission!   Of course, with all the aftermath of bringing home a newborn, we were broke, tired, and generally unprepared in every way for the festivities that come with the season.  When it came time to answer the question, “What are we doing New Year’s Eve?”, I just begged my husband to let me stay home and rest!

On Saturday night, we were tucked in bed getting ready to go to sleep when we got a text that simply said “HNY”.

“What the crap is ‘HNY’ supposed to stand for?  And why are they texting us at midnight?!  What is wrong with people?”

“Google search says HNY stands for ‘hot nude yoga’, but I highly doubt that’s what he means…”  Another two minutes passed before we realized the ball had dropped and we’d totally forgotten about the countdown.

I tell you all that to say, THIS YEAR is going to be different, and maybe if I save myself, I can save some of you in the process!  Time to build a Holiday Handbook!

Let’s start with a plain old notebook.  You can decorate it if you have that kind of energy.  Maybe add some tabs.  We’re going to break it down into four (or five) sections:

  1. Make a list of celebrations for every month.  Include birthdays.  Include national holidays.  The base of this can be reused every year, but it’s also a working document:  Now go through and add some of those celebrations that change yearly, like the Super Bowl!  (What?  You forgot about the Super Bowl?!  It’s not a holiday, but there are usually celebrations and parties associated with it.  What else needs to be included in this vein?  Election Day?  The Season Finale of your favorite TV show?  The next Twilight release?)  Now, do you know of any upcoming weddings, baby showers, or graduations this year?  Add them in!
  2. Now, let’s make a Gift Budget Worksheet.  (Compliments of the 4SmartyPants worksheet factory!)  We want to make sure we’re allowing enough spending to give each person something meaningful, but still keep costs reasonable.  It’s amazing to compare what you think you ought to spend on each person to what you think you can afford on a monthly basis!  If there’s a big gap, don’t panic!  Keep adjusting until you find a compromise, and don’t forget that you have a whole year to construct a classy homemade Christmas if need be!
  3. Now, take this list and use a piece of notebook paper for each individual.  List ideas for each gift giving event.  While you’re at it, make a couple extra lists for your kiddos to give to the grandparents when they come asking what your kids would like for their birthday.  😉  These are working documents that you can adjust all year.
  4. Finally, time to do a little party planning!  Think about what celebrations you will host this year and create a section for each!  Don’t forget things like Thanksgiving and Christmas, birthdays, welcome home or goodbye parties…  I would start with celebrations that are specific to your own family and work from there.  It’s nice to know ahead of time whether the St. Patrick’s Day get together you usually host is just as feasible this year, or if you’re probably going to want to keep things free in March so you can concentrate on planning your cousin’s bridal shower.  Or if your child has a birthday in late November, maybe let your sister-in-law host Thanksgiving this year.
  5. This section is totally optional, but it would be nice to print out some of the great tutorials and ideas you find in blogs or on Pinterest or StumbleUpon and keep them in the back of your notebook.  When you’re ready to start putting together some handmade gifts, then all your instructions will be in one central location.
And there you go!  Now we have a well outfitted Holiday Handbook!  You’ll be miles ahead when Christmas comes around next year, and hopefully, when I get a HNY text at 12 AM next January 1, I’ll be well rested, un-stressed-ed, and partying it up like the rest of the country!
Happy New Year!
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