Shopping for holiday gifts requires lots of time and a lot of planning and if you're one of those ambitious women who like to have a holiday party or two, you've got your work cut out for you. It isn't easy to plan a holiday party and manage shopping for family, extended family, friends, college friends, co-workers and the mailman. Here are a few tips to help you manage party planning with holiday shopping. Your holiday shopping will have to be scheduled and that schedule will have to be followed through on. Set a limit of how much shopping and wrapping you have to get done before your party. It shouldn't just be a count of how many gifts have to be bought; it should include who the shopping is for. You might want to save some of the more difficult shopping for until after the party so you can take advantage of holiday sales. Plan as early as November and make sure you set the date for your party early enough so people can save that date for you. Decide what you're going to cook and what you're going to buy ready-to serve from a store. Don't go recipe hunting and testing at the last minute. Holiday parties aren't the time to try and make a new dish. Stick to stuff that you know how to make so you can accurately estimate the preparation time. For food that you're going to serve immediately, its best that you buy something instead of making it. You can find lots of great festive food like chocolate strawberries and chocolate dipped bananas to decorate the dessert and to serve as an appetizer.