It goes without saying that 2020 has been a real dumpster fire and we are all looking forward to a vaccine and a fresh new year. But here we are in the tail end of November with Thanksgiving fast approaching and Christmas hot on it’s heals. So before we cross the finish line for this year, we have to figure out how to address the upcoming holidays.
This year has been a test of our ingenuity in reinventing even the simplest of processes in order to stay as safe as possible. Sometimes changing them multiple times to keep up with the current state. The virus is surging again and many areas have placed sanctions on activities and dining out to try to save lives. It’s a mess to say the least.
The holidays that are approaching are times where we look forward to celebrating together with our loved ones. But this year the best way to show our loved ones we care, may be to celebrate separately. I know it’s hard and it stinks and we are all angry that we have had to do nothing but make sacrifices this year. But we are almost there folks, we just have to stay vigilant for a little longer and remember the big picture of keeping ourselves, our friends and our loved ones safe.
Making a Plan
This year we will have to get creative using video calls, zoom dinners or whatever crafty ways that we can find to feel a little closer to the important people in our lives. I have put together a list of a few ways that we can use to plan for safe and successful holidays this year.
CDC Guidelines for Celebrating Thanksgiving
Order Groceries for Delivery or Pick Up – During these high risk times, you may want to use the grocery store’s app to order products and avoid the busy store. Many stores no longer charge a fee for this service in order to support consumer safety during the pandemic. If you can’t use pick up or delivery service, shop very early in the morning or late at night in order to encounter less people. Remember to wear your mask, bring clorox wipes for your cart and use hand sanitizer when you are finished.
Order carry out foods from local small businesses – Small local restaurants have really been hit hard due to all the restrictions this year. We all want our favorite places to survive, so we need to show our support by ordering carry out from them whenever we can. Think about items you can order from them over the holidays and call to order in advance.
I buy all my meat from the local butcher shop and we plan to order a tray of cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning from our favorite little coffee shop. Do what you can to show your support.
Splurge a Little – Order delicious food from afar through the Goldbelly site or a restaurant that offers shipping. Place a holiday wine order from a favorite winery that offers shipping or a site like Martha Stewart Wine or Wine Insiders. You don’t have to join their club, you can make one time orders whenever you like.
Order gifts, supplies and holiday decor online for home delivery – Avoid the crowded stores this year by relying even more on online ordering. Now is the time to get prepared because the biggest sales are usually around Thanksgiving.
- Make your list and remember due to shipping delays this year it is suggested (but not guaranteed) that the latest date for your order to be in time for Christmas is 12/15/20.
- It’s especially important to shop from small businesses this year
- Check out what shopping offers are available on your credit cards. American Express runs a lot of really good cash back offers from different retailers. Just add them to your card before making your purchase and a statement credit is usually applied to your account within a few days after your purchase posts.
- Review upcoming sale offers sent to you via mail, e-mail, or on the retailer’s website.
- Watch for big rebates on Rakuten. Offers change daily. I usually get back between $60 and $120 every year during the holiday shopping season simply by placing my orders through their portal. (If you don’t have Rakuten, PM me if you would like a sign up code with a bonus offer)
- For the biggest savings, plan to stack deals. Match store sales, with coupons and/or rebates.
- Look for free shipping offers or required order minimums to be eligible for free shipping.
- Pay a little extra to have gifts wrapped and shipped directly to far away recipients on your list. Not only will you save money by not having to pay to reship the gift, it will arrive to them sooner.
The Home Stretch
Hang in there my friends, we can make it through a few more months. I feel like we are heading into the home stretch. I hope these tips will help you to adapt your holiday plans the best you can this year so you can enjoy the season, stay safe, and keep your loved ones safe too.
Dream, PLAN, Save, Adventure!