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Your 2014 Holiday in Review

Phew. The madness, the wonder, the rush, the fun — everything that makes us love, and hate, the past month, is past us for another 365ish days. Now is the perfect time to look back, figure out what worked, what didn’t and get organized, and prepared, for next December. No matter if you celebrate Hanukkah or Christmas, you know it’ll return again in 2015, just like clock work.

What was successful?

Think about your gift list; the gifts you bought; your card list, the list of friends and family you mailed cards to; the parties you threw and the ones you attended. Jot down some notes. If you have lists, look them over — if you don’t, now is a great time to make a few. It’ll be really helpful next year.

Gifts

By creating a list of who you bought a gift for this year, and what you bought for them, and then tucking the paper into your Purse Perfector, you’ll be able to pull this out throughout the year so that you can remember what gift you gave to which person so that Aunt Jane doesn’t get a new scarf two years in a row. Carrying this list with you year round will help you when it comes to buying a birthday gift for the same person. Let’s say you bought Aunt Jane a scarf for Christmas, if you have this written down, when her birthday comes around in February, you could get her a hat and some gloves that match the scarf.

Is there someone you regret not giving a gift to? and is there someone who you might not wish to purchase a gift for going forward? These are great things to make notes of on your gift purchasing list. As the year progresses, occasionally pull your list out, make any needed updates as well as jotting down the items you’ve purchased.

Cards

Here’s a chance to really look at this list when you’re not just trying to get them into the mail on time. Did you forget someone this year?  If you did, add them now. Same for any deletions you’d like to make. Tidy this list up and next year, you’ll be the first to send out cards and check this item of your holiday “to do” list!

Holiday Decorations

As you prepare to put your holiday decorations away, take a look at them carefully. Are they in need of any cosmetic repair? Have they outlived their life? Are there things you store every year that you don’t use anymore? I know you just want to put things away, and forget about them with the :shove it all in and worry about it later philosophy’, but if you sort tired, worn and just not used things before you store them away, you’ll thank yourself next year. Make this one a priority or  otherwise next year, you’ll just push these things aside once again as you pull out your favorite and best decorations. (Before the years end, donate these items to a local charity and you’ll be able to use this donation as a charitable contribution on your taxes for 2014.)

Do you need more of something — ornaments, pine cones, wrapping paper, ribbons, boxes, etc.? If you do, now is the perfect time to purchase these items. After the holiday’s, as you know, stores mark these seasonal items down significantly. You’ll be able to save money by buying now, and you’ll be better organized and prepared as you enter into the 2015 holiday season. Here’s a quick tip: stores mark down tissue paper as well. Stock up on neutral colors, such as white, and you’ll be set for using these with gift bags and presents the whole year ahead.

Entertaining

Review the parties you attended and the ones you hosted. Were there things at either that really made the occasion special or unique? Again, jot down some notes and put this information with your holiday decoration to be stored. Put it right on top. When late November rolls around in 2015, and you get ready to decorate again, finding this note will remind you of how clever you are, and were, for getting organized for next year this year.

If you have favorite recipes that you only use during the Holiday’s, why not tuck those into the decorations box as well?

End the year with a bang!

Doing the above items, if broken down into individual tasks, will just require an hour or two at most for each one. What you will gain from spending this time now will not really be discovered until next year when you begin decorating and planning for your 2015 Holiday Season. Being able to pull out lists you’ve been referring to all year; knowing all of your decorations are organized and usable; and having a head start on gift and card lists; will help to make 2015 not only merry and bright, but peaceful as well.

Cheers,
Lyn