61 Days to Christmas! Gather Holiday Music

Holiday music: it can range from silly to sublime, but it sets the tone for a memorable season. What's the state of your family's holiday music library?

Whether you're hot for Handel or get down with the Little Drummer Boy, make a quick check of holiday music media. Gather up the Christmas CDs or set up a new folder in iTunes for holiday music.

Add any new "gotta-have" tunes to the shopping list, or add them to gift lists--and sing in the season with holiday music!

Track family favorites with a free printable holiday favorites inventory form. It'll organize holiday books, holiday movies and holiday music ... and a wish list!

Print a Holiday Favorites Inventory

62 Days to Christmas! Plan Secret Santa Exchanges!

"Secret Santa" gift exchanges can be a great way to cut holiday stress. Sometimes known as White Elephant Gift Exchanges or a Yankee Swap, a Secret Santa gift exchange allows families, social groups or co-workers draw names from a hat, and give an anonymous gift, rather than purchasing and giving multiple items to the whole group.

Start thinking now about organizing Secret Santa exchanges--and to jumpstart the process, try these online Secret Santa resources. They're free, and make it easy to set up and organize a Secret Santa exchange:

Secret Santa


63 Days to Christmas! Check Family Photo Outfits

Any parent of multiple children (and lots of one-child families!) knows that dressing for family holiday photos is easier said than done.

Who hasn't been there, frantically scrubbing at stains and tugging down sleeves while the photographer taps his foot? Worse, last-minute clothing issues don't lead to happy faces for the family photo.

This week, check the condition and fit of any outfits to be worn in family photo sessions. If garments need to be added or replace, add them to the seasonal shopping list. Save time and tears!

64 Days to Christmas! Start Holiday Idea Files

Christmas magazines and catalogs are fabulous resources for seasonal decorating, gift ideas, and Christmas recipes—but en masse, they can become too much of a good thing.

When the piles avalanche from every side table, finding an article or a recipe that caught your eye a few weeks ago can be an impossible job.

How do you keep all that good information without being crushed by stacks or drowning in paper? Answer: a set of tear files. They'll harness--and organize--all your great ideas in a single location:

Christmas Organizing Secret: Try a Tear File!

65 Days to Christmas! Christmas Magazine Reality Check

Visiting the supermarket, you can't miss them: Christmas magazines.

Sitting in their racks at the checkstand, they are the ultimate holiday flirt! Will this be the year you decorate like Martha, cook like Paula Deen .... and do it all while losing 10 pounds?

Of course not! Christmas magazines are wonderful sources for holiday inspiration, but without a reality check, they can lead you astray.

Stay grounded! Don't let Christmas magazines inflate your holiday expectations to the bursting point:

The Secret Life of Christmas Magazines

66 Days to Christmas! Buy Holiday Stamps

Holiday stamps will be available soon from the United States Postal Service. Buy stamps early, and you'll have your choice of seasonal designs.

Better still, buy stamps online from USPS.com. Holiday stamps are now available for pre-order! For a $1.00 service fee, stamps will be delivered to your mailbox. Standing in line at the Post Office is one holiday tradition that deserves to fall by the wayside.

While you're at the USPS.com site, consider ordering free mailing supplies. Flat rate envelopes and boxes can be delivered to your door, and they're ideal for shipping Christmas baked goods and small gifts. Oh, and did we mention that they're free?


67 Days to Christmas! Plan Halloween Treats

Halloween ahead! Will your family host trick-or-treaters, participate in a harvest festival or play the Halloween BOO game in your neighborhood?

Whatever your family's harvest traditions, check stocks of seasonal treats early. Halloween candy sales are going on now, so be sure you're ready for the doorbell on Halloween night!

Will you be baking treats or handing out Pumpkin Poop to coworkers? Check the pantry to be sure you have everything you need for Halloween treats.