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“May the Spirit of the Holidays be with you throughout the New Year” – Unknown

Can you believe it? Halloween is over, and the holiday season has officially started!

It feels like the holidays are pushed on us too early; stores put out their holiday decorations in late August/early September. I put my fall decorations out on September 1st. So, I think the Thanksgiving decorations are timely and appropriately stocked. However, Christmas decorations in September are overwhelming. Seeing the decorations brings anxiety. What do people want for Christmas? What is my budget? Do I shop at stores or online? Those are just a few of the things that go through my head. Not only are there decorations up in August/September, but Hallmark also starts showing Christmas movies 24 hours a day in mid-October and lasts through the first week of January. I can’t help but feel like I am falling behind on what needs to be done. Will Thanksgiving and Christmas be joyful if I don’t get everything done?

Now that Halloween is behind us, I can prepare for the holidays.

My decorating skills are minimal. However, I like my decorations and how the house looks once decorated.

Fall decorations are my favorite. I am a sunflower person (therefore, the name of this blog is Sunflowers4life). I have sunflowers and decorations in the colors yellow, orange, and brown throughout the house. Again, I put up my fall decorations on September 1st and take them down on the Friday after Thanksgiving when I put up my Christmas decorations.

Putting up Christmas decorations is a chore. But, once they are out, I like their "feel." I walk into the house, look around, and smile. I have a Santa Clause collection that I love showing off during the season. One of my Santa’s is an old Santa that was old when I was a child. My mom carefully set it out and told us not to touch it. Now when I put that Santa on my counter, it brings back fond memories of helping my mom decorate. I do have artificial trees. I have one in the living room, one in the family room, and a small one in my bedroom. I am not fond of white lights, so all my trees have multi-colored lights. The living room and family room have ornaments that best fit that room. I do not have any decorations on the tree in my bedroom. I like to look at the lights as I am going to sleep!

I do not decorate for New Year’s, but I look forward to the new year. Most of the time, I stay home on New Year’s Eve and write in my journal. I look over the last year’s successes and failures and set some goals for the future. I may sound boring, but I find the process satisfying. Then, on New Year’s Day, I put the decorations away and my house back in order.

What are your holiday plans?

There is much more to preparing for the holidays than decorating. Consider the following things when getting ready for the holiday season.

Preparing for the Holidays

1. Create Lists. Writing a list helps to organize your thoughts and prioritize items based on importance or deadlines.

2. Create a Budget.

3. Write Holiday Cards.

4. Start Buying Food You Can Store.

5. Buy Gifts As You See Them.

6. Start Wrapping Early.

I encourage you to start the holiday season off with a positive attitude.

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