7 things to do in November to save your sanity in December.

Ok, Halloween is behind us, now, as much as I don’t want to skip over November and rush though Thanksgiving – it’s actually my favorite Holiday – every year I try to use this month to accomplish as many Christmas tasks as I can, so that by the time December arrives I’m in pretty good shape. Here’s how I use November to relax in December.

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Take a Christmas picture.

Actually I get a jump start on Christmas cards a whole year before by shopping for cards on major clearance after Christmas. Then I pack them away so I don’t have to pay top dollar for them in November. Our family has made it a tradition to take a family photo on Thanksgiving. I then order 40-50 prints from Mixbook’s Holiday Card Collection There are plenty of creative options from cards to decorative boarders on your pictures. Then all that’s left is to address the envelopes.

Shop for gifts every Friday.

We have to budget for Christmas. I pay bills every Friday, so each week I allow $50 to buying Christmas gifts I’ve saved to my Amazon wish list through out the year. Since we are member of Amazon Prime I never have to pay shipping and can have a box of gifts delivered each week.

Check wrapping supplies.

I take 5 minutes to check my wrapping supplies in November, then pick up a roll or two of paper, shirt boxes, and tissue paper at the Dollar Tree.

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Start baking

Baking may not be your thing, but its a tradition in our family to make tons of different kinds of cookies each year. Not only do we have a cookie tray on the counter through out the whole season, we use them as gifts for the neighbors and the kids teacher and bus drivers. So each week starting in mid October I make 1 kind of cookie and freeze them. If they need decorating I sometimes save that step for the kids and I to do together when it gets closer to Christmas. I also double my pie crust recipe so I have an extra shell if I need to bring a dessert or something.

Make and freeze side dishes.

I always end up hosting at least 2 Christmas dinners at my home. I’m responsible for providing the main course. I try to make sure enough sides are made by those I ask. But I feel that if I have guests in my home, they shouldn’t have to worry about making something to bring. So I just double the ingredients at Thanksgiving and freeze. So then all I have to do come Christmas, is thaw and bake.

Shop for Christmas dinner.

Sometimes we host Christmas dinner. If is our turn, I make a list of what I making and shop for the ingredients a little bit each week on my regular trips to the grocery store. That way I’m not stuck with a huge grocery bill at the worst time of the year to spend more money.

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Plan Christmas activities.

Finally, I take a look at our December calendar and plan out when our other Christmas activities will happen. We always get our tree the weekend after Thanksgiving, so that already there. Sometimes we go see a Christmas movie, some times we celebrate with friends with a white elephant party. I get it all on the calendar in November to save my sanity in December.

What are your tips and tricks for making use of the count down to Christmas?

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Here’s how to set a beautiful Thanksgiving table on a budget.

Its one thing to do the Thanksgiving menu on a budget, its another thing to set a beautiful table. Can you host 10 people for dinner and set a gorgeous seasonal table while on a budget? Certainly! And you don’t even have to be particularly crafty.

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Dishes and glassware: find beauty in the mismatched.

You don’t need a full cupboard of dishes to host 10 for dinner. There are other ways to set the table beautifully.

First strategy? Borrow. Ask guests and friends if you can borrow dishes. Keep everything in one palette. (white is always classic) for a blended, yet beautiful look.

Second strategy? Thrift store. Hit up your local thrift store. You can get a haul of plates for just a few dollars, and they will go together beautifully.

The same applies to silverware and glassware.Dollar Tree is the place to look for an even more inexpensive idea.

Greenery: Go outside (and go glam)

You can find inexpensive greenery at the Dollar Tree (We’ll come back to that), but for an even less expensive option, go outside and stroll through your neighborhood, gathering leaves and branches with fall foliage for your table. Candles are a great option and can be quite inexpensive. But you may want to visit Jewelry Candle Co – JEWELSCENT | Hidden jewel valued $15-$7500 in our jewelry scents for a way to decorate and bring out the scent of fall!

Skip the table cloth.

Table clothes are expensive. Skip them altogether and do a runner of brown paper. You can purchase this at Dollar Tree. Or lay a bright, pretty scarf down the center of the table for some color.

To capture all the memories from Thanksgiving… Don’t forget to visit Mixbook’s Homepage Where there are endless options to capture these memories for years to come.

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