It’s that time of year. Many of us often find we have more to do than time will allow. Planning ahead a bit, does make this very busy time of year much more fun, allowing us more time to enjoy all the festivities with a lot less stress.
I thought instead of a wine post or a recipe or two I’d offer my thoughts and suggestions to help you make a plan to give you more free time, have some fun, and still get stuff done.
Some of this you may already know, however, please indulge me.
Make a list: That sounds so simple doesn’t it? The key is when we prepare that list. Here are my rules of thumb.
- At the beginning of a new calendar year, I mark my calendar with dates with an alarm that will alert me to when to start thinking about or start working on such as any make-ahead recipes.
- I add a list of needs in the notes for each of these calendar dates. Think of it as a built-in grocery and supply list. Note: I’ll often repeat the dates with the various alerts for following years. I’ll add and change some items as the year progresses.
- September is my liqueur-making month. An alert is created on September 1st to remind me to get busy.
- October is canning month such as Applesauce, Cranberry Sauce, Apple Butter and so on. An alert is created on October 1st to remind me to start canning.
- Various times of the year I’ll create calendar alerts to remind myself about a need for gifts – what, when and where to buy or make these gifts.
- I set a date well ahead of time about when and what I may need to decorate for a holiday or event. It offers a great reminder to start my planning early.
- And so on, you get the idea.
Family Favorite Recipe File: I’ve created a file of all our favorite holiday recipes for quick access (A hard copy file and a document file on my computer). The recipes may be for any holiday or event within a calendar year.
- In that file, I keep all the family favorites that I know I’ll be making.
- Throughout the year, I may add a new recipe or two for fun and to keep things fresh.
Gift Ideas From The Kitchen File: This kind of speaks for itself.
- I’ll compile a good long list of recipes and ideas I think others would enjoy. This is a file that is constantly changing and updated.
- I’ll also make a list of easy ways to decorate and/or packaging any of these items or a group of items.
Company’s Coming Planning: I use a planning worksheet. Yes, I know I’m a bit anal.
- I use a planning sheet to help prepare the days my guests will be visiting. Note: I’ll keep any past planning records to help with some future ideas. Doing this saves me a great deal of time by not having to recreate something I’ve already done.
- An easy access file of a collection of make-ahead recipes is also very handy to have readily available.
- Recipe Examples:
- Make Ahead Freezer Biscuits
- Prepare bacon and freeze for future use
- Homemade Granola and Muesli
- Homemade Yogurt
- Fruit Jams
- Recipe Examples:
That is kind of it. I do try to keep things simple; including what I would prepare and what plan I create for any occasion. Planning ahead with some calendar alerts helps a great deal. After all, it’s about enjoying what we do and the time we have to share with whomever we choose.
Time to enjoy the holidays…
P.S. Take a moment to check out some of the tools I use for “Planning Ahead” below. 🙂