I consider today to be the official beginning of the winter holiday season. My family spent the day breaking out our holiday decorations and putting up the Christmas tree. We even got some snow flurries! I also took full advantage of listening to Christmas music all day long.
Happy playing Hide & Seek while we decorated today! From my instagram
The start of the holidays means lots of planning for me. (I wouldn't want to forget Christmas like I did Thanksgiving!) December is always a super busy month between finals, projects, gift shopping, travel not going insane from family time! The winter break always seems to pop up from nowhere on me. This year, I'm going to be prepared.
Here's my tips to surviving December (and the last weeks of November):
Make a List | Start with a list of everything you need to do. Yes, I mean absolutely everything. Go through each class and write down everything you'll need to do in the final weeks of the semester. Don't forget due dates! Then think through all of your extra curriculars (ex: I know I have to do another bi-weekly report for AOII). Think through general life events too. Going on vacation? You'll probably need a packing list.
Plan it Out | Try to give everything on your list a permanent due date. Bonus points if you plan to have things done ahead of time! I generally have at least two separate due dates for my holiday shopping: before finals week (for my friends at school) and before Christmas (family). Of course, if you're mailing out gifts, you'll have a separate date for those as well. I like to take a blank calendar and fill in everything when it's due. (You can also do this digitally!)
Stay on Track | This is of course, the hardest step. I like to look at a two week view of the calendar, so I know exactly what is coming up. I also find it necessary to keep a daily/weekly to-do list. (I'm a habitual list maker, thanks mom).
Just for fun: a free printable to keep track of all your holiday gifts!