It’s officially November and that means it’s that freak out time before the holidays start coming at us fast like one of those self-pitching baseball machines. Don’t let ’em hit you in the balls. Here are some things to accomplish before Thanksgiving/Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanzaa/Festivus for the rest of us.
1. Get your plane tickets home or plan your car ride home for Thanksgiving and for Chrismukkah/Kwanzaa.
2. Go on a diet. Not to look good or anything, but just so you have room for all the delicious food you’re about to enjoy in the future. Make way for dumplings! (JK, JK)
3. Start making a list of the presents you want to get for people and who in your life, you’re going to get gifts for. Start saving up if you need to spend a bit on someone special.
4. If you have a passion project you need motivation to finish, why not give yourself the deadline of Thanksgiving or the holidays?
5. Get back in touch with your friends back home so you can see them when you visit. You’ll all need some time away from the crazy fam when you’re back in your hometown.
6. Clean out your pantry and donate any goods you know you’ll never get around to eating to a food bank.
7. Look up and re-familiarize yourself with your favorite holiday cookie recipes or holiday cocktail mixes. You’re gonna be making them if you want to socialize for the season.
8. Make some homemade cards with friends and take them in a bag to the local hospital. A lot of people in there won’t get any for the holidays. It can be a fun crafty way to do something nice.
9. Get a bunch of wrapping paper and bows. Or start saving newspapers to wrap stuff in. I like to pick ones with headlines that might tickle that particular friend like if they’re a Red Sox fan, use the sports page and if they like politics, wrap it in the Washington Post.
10. Watch the Seinfeld Festivus episode to get in the mood.
11. Get eggnog and hot cocoa mix.
12. Take a family photo to mail out. Do one with your roommates or friends and be weirdos and send them out to confused and amused family and friends. Wear Xmas sweaters and make awkward faces. Get creative.
13. Shine your menorah so it gleams like a beacon unto the nations. (Heyooo Torah, what up!)
14. Holiday-ize your Facebook profile picture. I like to use Paint and put little Jewish stars all over mine. But whatever floats your boat.
15. Make an Amazon wishlist. Don’t expect to get everything you ask for but don’t be afraid to dream big, darling. Why not?
16. Give blood. It’s a good deed for a time of year when giving is important.
17. Clean out your holiday decorations. Keep the ones you love. Get rid of the ones that are falling apart and put them up to get into the spirit. My mom’s used the same adorable Pilgrim salt and pepper shakers for years. I wouldn’t know it was Turkey Day without ’em.
18. Change your ringtone to a Christmas or Hannukah or Kwanzaa song. If you celebrate Festivus, change it something that makes you feel festive in an atheistic sort of way.
19. Make a list of great holiday movies to watch. Unabashedly put Love Actually on there. You know you want to.
20. Treat yourself to a really nice, warm, fluffy scarf. You’ll get good use of it all winter and it’ll put you in the snow-y mood.
21. Stop stressing about the holidays and just enjoy spending time with friends and family, huh?