Disclosure: This blog post is sponsored by Shutterfly. They are the only place I get my stationary from, I LOVE THEM. This year they became partners with Tiny Prints and I couldn’t be happier to share their improved site with you. As always, all opinions expressed are my own and I only partner with companies I love, respect, and value on this site.
We are almost to Halloween, but my crusade for a more peaceful holiday season knows no boundaries. Honestly, I’m thinking of the Christmas season all year long. It isn’t uncommon to see me at yard sales in the summer months thinking of stocking stuffers, outfits for family photos, cute decor. This means that normally during the holidays, you’ll see me present with my family. You’ll not find me stressed (too often) you’ll hear me say yes to entirely too many cookie exchanges. Today, I’m sharing some things you can today to simplify your holiday season.
- Collect addresses now. If you are any a season of life similar to ours, your friends are moving everywhere. I’m using Shutterfly’s address book this season to keep my addresses up to date, and also so I can import those. Shutterfly will address your envelopes for you.
- Order your holiday cards. By now, you’ve probably gotten your fall photos done and your ready to move into photo printing phase 1. The perfect holiday card. Right now, Shutterfly is offering 10 free cards plus a 24 pack of address labels. The earlier you order, the better the deals. I love Shutterfly products, they never disappoint in quality, beauty, and affordability. Their customer service is rivaled by none, and I get compliments every year on our family card. Shutterfly has basically everything, we get our invites for holiday parties there, and those adorable calendar magnets will be for gift baskets I’ll make for friends.
- Download the Shutterfly App- I know I say this in every single blog post, but I just can’t speak highly enough of the incredible deals on the Shutterfly app. I’ve saved up magnets, puzzles, notepads, memory books, and mugs to give as gifts. As we get closer to the holidays you will find that they are posting more and more deals and freebies. The app just makes it easier than ever to stay on the deals.
- Start cashing in your Swagbucks and Credit Card Rewards & Budget Ideas. If you use a American Express Credit Card throughout the year, you will earn various rewards you can cash in and put towards the holidays. You can use the rewards to get money off gifts, or coupons you can use in grocery stores so the holiday food doesn’t hurt your bank account. They could also be turned into airmiles too if you need to fly home for the holidays. This also isn’t a bad time to start thinking about other ways to generate income. Can you babysit for friends? Wrap gifts? Get a job at a toy store for hefty discounts?
- Sift through your Christmas decor– Now, don’t go putting it up right now. BUT. I strongly encourage you to take some time this weekend to look through your Christmas decor. See if anything has gotten broken, doesn’t fit your still, boring, whatever. If you know now that you are going to want or need specific decor you can start rounding up the best prices on those things.
- Check out the family closet– I know it can be hard to resist the urge to buy coordinating everything for the holidays. So, I’m not going to say that. Plus, it would only make me a hypocrite because I’m all about that matching life. Don’t wait until last minute for things, take advantage of the great deals in Gymboree stores right now. I got so many great things for under 6.00 today! Including some Christmas pajamas for the boys. Hello, cute Christmas morning photos and Christmas Eve photos. Put together outfits if you can with clothes you already own or make an inventory of what you need for holiday events.
- Start wrapping gifts now, because I know you all took my advice last year and grabbed your wrapping paper when it was 90% after the holidays. If you can start wrapping now, you can avoid the scurry to wrap in a couple weeks!
- Book as many travel plans as you can right now. Prices will raise steadily on holiday travel after Halloween, so save yourself some money by booking in advance when possible.
- Plan your advent – we are doing reverse advent this year, but I did need to type up the lessons we will do each day. I’m still deciding if I can swing it to get the boys LEGO advent. If you can make it work to organize your advent now, you won’t be drowning come December 1st.
- Make a list of people you need gifts for. Then, you can begin to budget!
What tricks do you have to avoid holiday overwhelm? Comment below!