Our partners at Summit Funding put together a great November newsletter that we would like to share with you all! With the holidays quickly approaching, we thought you all would find this information helpful.
It is officially November which means that the holiday season is upon us! My goodness, time flies! Expecting guests in your home this holiday season? Hosting for the holidays can seem like a daunting task. However, if you take some preparatory steps, it can actually be quite enjoyable.
Kitchen - A lot of festivities during the holiday season center around food. If you are entertaining guests in your home for the holidays, you will likely spend a large amount of time in the kitchen. Below are some simple preparation tips:
Since the kitchen will likely be a popular gathering spot while cooking, it might be a good idea to have extra stools and seating handy in case people want to chat while they cook.
Clear as much counter space as possible. There may be some appliances that are usually on your counter tops that can be removed and stored in cabinets and then brought back out when needed. Since there will likely be a number of people cooking at one time, the more counter space you have, the easier it can be for everyone to work together.
Guest Room - If you are having overnight guests for the holiday, below are a few simple steps you can take to make sure the guest room is ready for their stay.
Make sure to have fresh linens available. An extra set of linens might also be nice.
Your guests may want to use the internet - make sure to have your username and password readily available so that they have easy access.
Living Room - Besides the kitchen, the living room will likely be another popular gathering spot.
Have games and activities available for kids (and adults). It might be a good idea to stop by a department store and pick up some board games and card games. This way your guests have things to do when waiting for food to be prepared.
The last tip is to prepare early - give yourself ample time to prepare for guests so that you do not feel stressed or overwhelmed with your 'to-do' list. Remember that holiday gatherings should be enjoyable.
Finances - Holiday Shopping
As you know, the holidays are quickly approaching! With that being said, it is important to develop and stick to a budget. Developing a budget early is a great way to make sure you stay within your 'means' so that you don't over-spend. Below are a couple of tips to help make your holiday shopping easy and budget friendly:
Do It Yourself - While DIY gifts tend to be a bit more time-consuming than those you can just purchase at a mall (or online), they can also carry a greater sentimental value and can be cost-friendly.
Bake - Try baking cookies, brownies and other holiday favorites, putting them in a nice decorative bag and handing them out as a simple holiday gift. These are good for those people you are friendly with but not exactly sure what you should get them as a gift. Baked goodies are also a great gift when stopping over and visiting friends.
Write out your shopping list - Just like a grocery list, you should go holiday gift shopping with a plan and a list. A list can help you stay focused and on track with what you originally planned to buy. When you do not have a list, it can be easy to get side-tracked and purchase unnecessary items.
Sale Shopping - Be mindful of sales and bargains this holiday season. A good sale can make a significant impact on your holiday shopping costs. Sign up for newsletters and email blasts from your favorite retailers so that you can be 'in the know' about sales and offers. If you are extremely adventurous, you may even want to try your luck with Black Friday Sale Shopping.
Shop Online - Online shopping has become pretty popular these days, and rightfully so! Online shopping can provide great deals, a variety of products and a huge number of vendors - all right from the comfort of your laptop, desktop or even your phone. Before you decide to do your shopping online, make sure you give your items enough time to arrive - shipping takes time!
Personal Interest - Thankfulness
Ok, this might be a cheesy and cliché practice but since it is November, take some time to reflect on 2015 and all of the things you can be thankful for. As we go through the year, time can often pass so quickly that we forget to stop, reflect and be thankful for life and all of its opportunities.
Even if things are not currently perfect, there are likely still many things that you can give thanks for! Focusing on the positive can bring contentment and reduce stress because 'what you think about, you bring about' - so think about the positive and more positivity will be created in your life.
Take some time for self-reflection before the parties, food and holiday entertaining begins. In addition, take some time to jot down a list of things you are thankful for in 2015. These things can be tangible or intangible - the most important thing is to take time for gratitude. In the tradition of Thanksgiving practice thankfulness and gratitude.