Make your list and check it twice, or three times, or maybe even four.

This year we have to think about toys that have lead based paint, higher utility bills and staying within our budget.

We are all much more conservative, due to the economy and utility cost skyrocketing; which is a good thing because spending was getting out of hand anyway. True, it is the time of the year for giving, but not at the cost of strapping ourselves for the other 11 months of the year.

We will have countless chores with in the next two months over working our brains and nerves. First, there is Thanksgiving and the traditional feast and get together and then the day after-SHOPPING! We haven't even finished the Fall Cleaning and now we are on our way to Christmas decorating. Time becomes a major issue for all of us!

Here are a few hints to help you with that Christmas list and remembering what you already bought for whom and what other ideas that you have.

1. Get your Christmas card list ready and either purchase or order your cards now. You can go so far as to address the envelopes and add the stamps. Now when you have your cards, you can do this at your leisure, a few either at a time or take an hour to make them out. Then put them on the desk to wait for Christmas mailing.

2. Get yourself a notebook or staple a few sheets of paper together for you to keep in your purse or wallet. If you are using a small size pocket notebook, put one name per piece of paper for everyone on your list.

3. Now go through and write down all of the things that you have heard them say they 'wished' they had. Since you do not have the stress of countless other things for holiday organizing over loading your mind, the ideas may come more freely.

4. Now, start watching the sale flyers and the stores and keep track of the prices, when you find a good deal, purchase it.

5. Then, in your notebook, behind the person's name, put an 'X', now you know that you have 'that' present.

6. As you wrap the gift, put a line through the 'X', so you know that you have finished that present and it is ready for Christmas.

7. As you finish each person on your list, lightly put a line diagonally through the things on that page, this way you know this person in completed.

8. Make sure that any gifts that have to be mailed are purchased by 1 December so that you can get them in the mail. I usually have these ready to go by the Monday before Thanksgiving, that way my presents are the first ones out of the Post Office.

9. Bake and Freeze; Starting November first, it is time to start all of your Christmas cookies. This way you can do a few at a time and freeze them. It is smart to do the sugar cookies too, this way you can take out however many that you need, decorate them and you are ready for a party or event.

10. If you are traveling over the holidays, take the time to make out a packing list for every member of the family. This will save time later because you will know exactly what needs to be clean, what to pack and if you have room for extras.

Organizing your holiday is essential for smooth workflow. It reduces stress, creates a feeling of control and let's you enjoy the holiday season.

Jan always shows you ways to save time and money and how to work smarter-not harder. Organizing is a major part of Christmas stress-relief as you will see when you follow this checklist.

Author's Bio: 

Jan Hayner, a Professional Organizer, offers tips, hints and shortcuts on
go to Organizing Your Life THE EASY WAY and get her free pamphlets, newsletter and more. Order her new ebook '101 Home Hints'.