LIFESTYLING WITH LISA: November is time to make a list and check it twice

Every year, about this time, people start to panic about the holidays. Yikes! So much to do, so little time.

Thanksgiving is just a couple weeks away, so, like it or not, the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is officially upon us. Take a deep breath and relax for moment.

Grab a pad and pen and quickly jot down some of the things you still need to get done before Christmas or Hanukah, and circle those items you can do now, this week or this month, before December even begins. Here’s a checklist of November tasks to help you get started:

Start a gift list of family and friends you need to buy for and gift ideas for each, preferably now, to take advantage of Black Friday deals, which have been already set in motion by most major retailers, due to COVID-19.

Take or select a photo for your holiday gift cards.

Get your holiday cards printed.

Address and stamp your card envelopes so they’re ready to go.

If you are hosting, even if a smaller gathering this year, plan your Christmas or Hanukah dinner menu now.

Check your holiday lights and purchase new ones, if needed.

Put up your outdoor lights. This year, perhaps more than any other, bright and happy decorations are needed to lift our moods.

Place electric or battery powered lights on the window sills.

Re-arrange your family room furniture, if needed to prepare for the tree.

Grocery shop for holiday meal and dessert ingredients.

Purchase any teacher gifts, service provider gifts and hostess gifts.

Ship any holiday packages that will be sent overseas.

Decorate the fireplace mantel and a few quiet corners of your home.

Schedule a baking day on the calendar.

Bake cookies and freeze.

Purchase a few gifts this week and next week to beat the holiday rush.

Plan a gratitude exercise for the Thanksgiving Day table, such as everyone sharing something they are grateful for or writing a note of gratitude in a family journal or special table runner.

If you prefer celebrating the full 25 days of Christmas, put up your tree right after Thanksgiving and decorate it.

With a little planning and a checklist in hand, you still have plenty of time to get a jump on the holiday hustle and bustle.

Connecticut Media Group