Holiday Madness – Before the Crazy Hits

Moms… take a deep breath, light a candle, take a nice bath – because the holiday madness is about to hit, and you’ll need to be ready!

I don’t even know where I’ll be eating Thanksgiving Dinner, and I haven’t started holiday shopping, so when it’s time to start, I’ll be hitting the ground running.   I also want to run the same 5 miler I ran last Thanksgiving, and of course, I haven’t run since the spring.

Here are my tips to optimizing this time before the seasons get crazy:

  • Improve your grocery shopping strategy!   The holidays mean lots of food shopping, and any tips that save time and money will definitely make things go smooth.   Check out my post and giveaway, and leave a question for Phil Lempert, the Supermarket Guru. I’ll be posting Phil’s video responses later this month.
  • Make holiday shopping lists now.   Start thinking about what you want to buy as gifts, and as you see deals and specials, start buying.
  • Talk to your family about Thanksgiving plans NOW.   If you have to book travel, don’t delay.   Costs will only go up.   Same for Christmas/New Year/Hanukkah.
  • Plan some meals in advance, so you can eat quickly and then do your holiday shopping, wrapping, or partying.   I love this recipe from Phil, which uses coffee in the spaghetti sauce (you can use Hunts for the tomatoes and tomato paste).

I’d love to know your tips!   How do you prepare in advance for the holiday season?

Disclosure: This post is part of my on-going partnership with ConAgra Foods as one of their Blog Ambassadors for FY2011. I’ve been compensated for my work with the brand.   As always, all thoughts and expressions are my own.


  1. says

    It’s never to early to get those holiday cards started. Even if you’re planning on sending a photo card, and you haven’t taken the picture yet, you can still get a jump on things. Purchase stamps and create address labels now. Then when it comes time to send them, you have no excuses.

    My kid’s school participates in the gift card fundraising program. I purchase small gift cards throughout the year. The school gets a portion of the proceeds, and I’m not running around getting gift certificates for the soccer coach, ballet, piano, school teachers and bus monitors at the last minute.

  2. amy says

    I shop all year long for the holidays. Every time I hear someone mention something they love, I write it down and keep a running list in my purse. It helps me shop for the best prices and I also get extra credit for remembering the things people say they like. (It also helps convince my kids that Santa is indeed watching all year long!) Since I have to hide most of my purchases, I also keep a list of exactly what I have bought so I don’t over-buy.

    When it comes to cooking and baking, I do the same thing – I try to make sure all my staples are in the pantry to avoid last minute trips to the store. Nothing is worse than running out of vanilla in the middle of a sugar-cookie marathon!

  3. says

    I haven’t really ‘done’ anything for the holidays yet but I do prepare somewhat all year long. Whenever I see something online that I think will make a great gift, I bookmark it and save in a file for Christmas gifts. Now I only have to pull up the folder to start shopping.

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