Along with taking the tree down and putting the decorations away for another year, there are several things you need to do while the holidays are still fresh in your mind.
While you’ve got that calendar open, write your thoughts about the holidays just past. Honestly assess the entire season. Here are a few sample questions to ponder:
- Which activities and traditions were the most enjoyable?
- Which were least enjoyable?
- If you overspent this year, what factors were the culprits?
- What caused stress and pressure?
- What should we have done more of? Less?
- Can you recall the gifts you gave? Those you received?
- In what ways will you continue to pay for the efforts of the holidays well into the New Year?
- Was it worth the cost?
Sure, there might be some things you’d as soon never think about again, but this kind of information will help you evaluate and plan effectively next year.
Open your new 2024 calendar to November and clip this mini journal to Nov. 29, the day after Thanksgiving. Next year you will avoid a case of holiday amnesia.
Gather all your leftover paper goods into one place—the gift wrap, cards,tags, bows, and ribbons plus all the stuff you nearly stole at the After Christmas Clearance Sale. Clip this detailed list of your holiday supplies to the same November calendar page. Critical: Include details that will remind youreslf exactly where you have put all this stuff.
On another piece of of paper write the name of each person who was on your gift list. Assuming they will remain on your list for 2024, divide the total number by 12 and on the first day of each month, starting now, select that many names from the hat.
Let’s say you have 24 names on your list. Draw two names now, another two in February and so on throughout the year. You’ll have an entire month to either make or purchase gifts for just one or two people. Critical: Develop a master list so you’ll know exactly what you’ve purchased, for whom—and where it is hidden.
Not all of us are into buying Christmas gifts throughout the year for all kinds of reasons. If that’s you, create your own Christmas Club Account instead. Diligently tuck away $10, $50 or whatever amount you choose each week starting today.
Better: Open a free savings account at your bank or credit union and authorize an automatic weekly deposit. You won’t miss money you don’t see. Next December you’ll have a nice chunk of cash to spend, and won’t that be a lovely surprise!
You might also enjoy:
- 25 Ways to Save $1,000 on Monthly Expenses
- Relax. Deep Breath. Prepare.
- 7 Things To Do Now to Be Prepared for Disaster