For a super source of holiday decor items, gifts and baked goods, shop local Christmas bazaars. Often benefitting worthy causes or organizations, these informal gatherings offer food, fun and a welcome leg up on the gift list.
To find bazaars in your area, look to local newspapers or community web sites; many provide seasonal listings of holiday bazaars and harvest fairs.
Add 'em to your calendar, check 'em out ... for a good time and a quick start to holiday shopping.
When it comes to holiday decorating, less can be more! To save time and cut holiday stress, simplify holiday decorating by following the decorating Rule of Three!
To bring a festive feeling to any home--and do it simply--put your decorating focus on the Big Three elements of holiday decor:
Living Area Focal Point
So long as you have a wreath on the front door, decorations on the mantel (or a holiday tablescape on a living area tabletop), and a Christmas tree, you've covered holiday decorating basics ... for a simpler, stress-free holiday season.
With autumn in full swing (and Halloween on the horizon), seasonal decorating will soon be underway. Do you know where your holiday decorations are?
While hauling out the jack-o-lanterns and Thanksgiving turkeys, make an informal inventory of Christmas holiday decor. Reason? If you know what you have, you'll immunize yourself from impulse buying as the season progresses--and you'll pick up any needed items in good time to decorate for Christmas.
To "shop at home first", record holiday decorations with a free printable decorations inventory form.
It's Autumn ... and seasonal celebrations abound! Will you decorate your home to celebrate the coming of fall, Halloween, and Thanksgiving?
Think "simplicity" when it's time to decorate for fall holidays. When selecting decorations, choose solid colors (green, gold, red) and general themes ("pumpkins", not "Jack-o-Lanterns") that can multitask throughout the Autumn months.
By keeping the background items simple and basic, it's easy to swap out smaller, more holiday-specific items for a fresh look! For example, a gold tablecloth graces October's stacked apples, then serves as a base for Halloween's candy-corn table runner. After October 31, roll up the runner and substitute small pilgrim candles. Come December, replace the centerpiece with a colorful mound of shiny glass ornaments in a clear bowl. Easy!
The decoration tide sweeps in with October's falling leaves, breaks against Halloween's goblins, and is streaming full-force by Thanksgiving's turkeys and pilgrims. Come Christmas, the average home is drowning in tinsel.
Do your visual field a favor: declutter tables, counters, mantels, shelves and the entire surface of your refrigerator before you decorate your home for Autumn holidays.
Using a sturdy box, corral all knick-knacks, photos, decorative items and mismatched socks, and stow the box in a dark closet. Don't even bother to sort your stuff--you'll do that when you return the items after the New Year.
Clear surfaces make a house look clean--and your decorations will shine in solitary splendor when they don't have to compete with ashtrays in the shape of armadillos!
They're heerrree ... online bargains and holiday catalogs!
Planning for Christmas, shopping from home has many advantages over the holiday mall scene. No long lines. No sore feet. No staggering to the car, weighed down by parcels and shopping bags. Shopping becomes a pleasure, conducted from a favorite chair. Phone in your selections, sit back, and wait for the UPS man. Ahhhhh!
Still, it's possible to have too much of a good thing! The catalog tide sweeps in at the end of August, engulfing mailboxes and tabletops with untidy stacks and piles--and disorganized catalog shopping exacts a high price for convenience.
How to shop smart and save? Try these three tips to organize catalog shopping:
To save on grocery bills, many shoppers visit multiple stores on shopping day, wasting time and gas money. Instead, stagger weekly shopping trips to different stores, buying canned goods at the warehouse store one week, and stocking up on meat at the supermarket the next. Simplify shopping trips, save on gas--and still tap weekly bargains!