While things are still fresh in your mind from the holidays. Write down at least three things that went well. I'll share mine to get you started:
1. I didn't bake anymore than I could take to someone's house within 24 hours. Meaning I didn't eat an excess of cookies like I have the last 15+ years.
2. I did most of my shopping on-line and had it shipped directly there.
3. I didn't buy a lot of presents overall; and very few for anyone beyond our immediate family.
4. Time off at home to just chill.
Now think of three things you wished you had done differently.
1. Taken the 'Christmas' picture earlier in the year for the Christmas cards--why does this always sneak up on me???
2. I wish I had purchased wrapping paper last year after Christmas so I didn't have to pay full price. Ugh. I did purchase some a few days ago.
3. I needed more garland lights for our tree. So far I haven't found any on clearance.
So, now that you have your list of the stuff that went well and the things that could have gone better. Figure out where or how you could implement those changes. For example, shop the after-Christmas sales for wrapping paper or other supplies like lights.
In the case of my picture, I could skip the picture, but I really enjoy receiving pictures from other families and it's a tradition I'd like to keep up. So I will set a reminder on my Outlook calendar and have it remind me over the summer and then every six weeks or so until I have the picture taken. Again, that's the part that has hung me up the last couple of years.
For you it might be something else about the season that has you hung up. Here are a few ideas of things to think about...
- Christmas Club at your bank, credit union or even Smarty Pig. Setting aside 1/10th of the amount you'd like to spend on Christmas 2012 each month until next November.
- Shortening your list of people who you give gifts to. Perhaps you could suggest drawing names instead of buying for everyone? A good time to do this is around Easter or 4th of July when people likely haven't started purchasing gifts yet.
- Consider making gifts for people that you want to include.
- Struggling with what to buy for people? As you interact with them through the year, make yourself a note in either an electronic calendar reminder (set to go off on 11/15-ish) or in the back of your notebook if you still use the paper and pencil method (like me).
- Mixing up cookie dough 60 days ahead of time and storing in the freezer until you are ready to bake.
- Consider the school calendar as soon as it is issued by your district so you can start thinking about travel days and/or vacation days to take from work.
I'm sure there are other good ideas, so feel free to shout them out in the comments for everyone to benefit from.