By now, I’m sure that most of us either have completed our holiday shopping or are at least half way through it. Of all the months in the year, I find that November and December are extremely busy, expensive, and time just flies.
ORGANIZATIONAL SKILLS ARE IMPORTANT!
Around the end of October and beginning of November, I start making lists of things to do by certain dates. This is where organizational skills are very important. I always start my holiday shopping in November, but first, I have some research to do.
- see if I can get some gift cards with my mileage points or credit card points
- make a detailed list of what to get everyone including: size, color, style, and price
- research which stores offer the best deals for the above mentioned
- consider merchandise exchange policies
- inquire if gift-wrapping is available
- decide if waiting for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday or Cyber Monday will give me better deals
That takes care of gift buying. I only have to go out and pick up these things or order them online. This is one facet of the holiday rush.
PREPARE FOR SOCIAL EVENTS
I also have to make sure I prepare for all social events. Thank goodness, Thanksgiving is a food holiday! I just concentrate on cooking and socializing with family and friends. It is wonderful to sit back and catch up with everyone after a delicious meal.
There are so many other events to plan. There is:
- the tree lighting on the green
- school plays
- finding time to decorate the house – both inside and out
- baking the traditional Christmas cookies and then packaging them to send off to others
There’s also events at church and holiday parties with various organizations.
CLIENTS AND VIRTUAL OFFICE PARTIES
As a virtual assistant, owner of Virtual Colleague, LLC, and copywriter, I don’t have an office party. I’m the only employee, but I do send a little something to my clients, especially those I’ve worked with this year. My clients are never forgotten and they all receive an ecard for the holidays, but I like to make my clients feel special, so I give them something extra. It may be a gift card or something small like a calendar or pen light, but I want to reward them for giving me projects through the year.
Then there’s the writing and mailing holiday cards and packages. While some people prefer a digital holiday card, most everyone on my list prefers a traditional card. This is more time consuming and expensive. I also feel I have to put a personal note inside every single card and purchase holiday stickers, address labels, and postage stamps. All of this takes time to do!
IS IT WORTH IT?
YES! I am busy throughout the year, so why shouldn’t I find and take the time to acknowledge the people in my life, who have worked with me, advised me, and assisted me to become the person I am. At no other time of the year is it more appropriate to show your kindness and gratitude to everyone – my clients included.
So while I may be stressed from lack of sleep, lack of money, and lack of time to do everything – the holidays are a wonderful time of the year and should be savored and enjoyed like fine wine! Taking the time to slow down and enjoy the atmosphere is one of the best presents you can give yourself.
How do you handle the holiday rush?