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Make Christmas merrier by staying organized

December is by far the busiest month of the year for most of us, with so many extra things to do — extra cooking, extra shopping and extra socializing to name a few. All the “extras” can quickly make your home and your calendar feel out of control. My Christmas gift to you is some tips for managing all these “extras” — making your Christmas merrier and less stressful. 

• Purchase a planner and schedule out your entire month as early as possible. You can go online and find a large number of Christmas planners that cover everything you need to have a stress-free month. If you don’t want to order a special planner, a regular planner will work just fine. Remember that the sooner you begin, the easier it will be. 

The first thing you should put on your calendar is a day to do your Christmas cards, so make sure you have addresses and stamps! 

• Next, let’s schedule some shopping. Like many people, you may love hitting multiple stores in search of the perfect gifts. There’s definitely something special about the experience, so if this is how you shop, make sure to create a checklist of people to buy for. Write their gift next to their name and schedule a day and time to shop, along with where you will go and the amount you will spend. This will save you lots of time and make your shopping a bit easier. If you don’t have time to go shopping, and want to do it all online, make your list of people to buy for and knock out a few each night while in bed. 

• Another option for online shopping is using gift apps. My family is very large and spread out, so we like using Giftser. It allows each person to make a wish list, and it even gives you the link to the store, making shopping super simple! 

• Make sure you have plenty of wrapping paper and accessories, along with a wrapping paper organizer. You can find these at Walmart, Target, or even online. Set up a wrapping station in your home and wrap each present the day it arrives so you don’t have so many gifts to wrap at once. I promise when Christmas comes, you will be glad you did this. 

• When you schedule parties, potlucks and other event in your calendar, write down what you will wear and what you will bring for each occasion. If your schedule doesn’t allow time for making a dish, order some favorite items from a popular local restaurant. You’ll certainly be the star of the party! 

I hope these tips help you have a happier, less chaotic holiday. From my family to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 

Melanie Jones is owner and interior designer with 123 Organize and Design. Reach her at (228) 596-7178 or at 

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