You made it through all the holiday festivities, and you’re finally sitting still for a moment, relaxing, right? I won’t tell you not to chill out since you’ve obviously earned some time to just kick back and reflect on a holiday well done, but don’t forget the post-party debriefing! It’s the best way to get organized for next year.
If you’re like me, in addition to feeling great joy for having turned out a terrific celebration for your friends and family, you’re also doing a mental play-by-play, imagining things that you could have done differently, and already dreaming of how you’ll top yourself next year.
Get Organized – What Worked
While your guests’ raves and reviews are still fresh in your mind, now is the time to start making notes for next year’s holiday gathering. You won’t feel like you’re starting from square one next December if you jot down the best of this year’s feedback and tuck it away for future reference. Start a notebook (either paper or digital will do) to keep track of which dishes were the biggest hits. For example, if anyone asked you for a specific recipe, make a note to send it along as a thoughtful follow up. Don’t forget which ones may not have been worth the trouble. We love using Evernote.com for this purpose. It makes collecting and sharing recipes and decorating ideas simple. Use their Web Clipper to grab ideas from the Internet all year round, and then easily organize them in virtual notebooks.
Get Organized – Planning for Gift Giving
Noting how gifts were received while reactions are fresh in your mind can help you plan ahead for a more successful shopping season during the next holiday season. Keep a list of what you gave everyone this year, what you spent, and how well each gift went over. Then use your notes to create a budget and preliminary gift list for next year. Plan to put aside a little money for it each month, to avoid the shock to your wallet that’s often inflicted by the crush of December shopping. I also make a note of what gifts were given to me, so if I decide to re-gift it later, I am certain I give it to someone new!
Get Organized – What Didn’t Work
Take the time now to note what worked and what didn’t will make for a more organized holiday season next year. If you had house guests, take stock of linens or an air mattresses that may need replacing, and keep an eye out for sales throughout the year. What errands did you have trouble scheduling this year? Should you consider grocery a grocery delivery service or hiring someone to help decorate or elves to wrap gifts? Pull out your calendar and pencil them in now. By planning ahead and blocking out the time to tackle those tasks and you can look forward to less stress next time around.
Get Organized – Don’t Forget Self-Care Next Year
The most important thing to acknowledge is how you felt throughout the planning and celebration. If something or someone made your holiday less than happy, design a contingency plan for next year so you can eliminate as much unpleasantness as possible. And if you found yourself too exhausted from all the preparation to enjoy yourself, then book some extra “me-time” next year; get a massage or even a full day of pampering before the guests descend next Christmas – and write (or type) it in your new calendar now! Whatever changes or improvements you think of, make them a plan and not just an idea, and you can look forward to out-doing yourself next year.
Help your fellow readers get organized for next year, too… please comment below and share with us either what made your holiday gathering special this year, or what will you do differently next year?