Hello and Welcome Back!
The holidays are coming!
You may be thinking, but it’s only October, not even Halloween yet! Hear me out…
If you take the following week to plan for the upcoming holidays you will alleviate the stress you normally feel during this time of year greatly. Let’s make a deadline to have this plan completed by Sunday the 26th.
Get a pad and pen and begin.
Start with Halloween. Will you need costumes, candy, or decorations? Record what you will need along with the dates or deadlines you will have these purchased or done by. Next make a separate list of everything you want to purchase and keep this with you. You now have an action plan and all you have to do is follow it.
Next will be Thanksgiving
Are you hosting or are you traveling? What, if anything, will you need for this holiday? When will you do the things you need to do? If you are hosting create your menu and all the details that go along with the celebration. Make a list of what will need to be purchased, who you’ll ask for help, and what needs taken care of, and carry it with you.
Next will be Christmas or what you celebrate.
Over the next week, as you are planning for the holidays you celebrate, throw away the perfectionism and focus on progress. Just because you are planning several weeks in advance doesn’t mean you have the time to remodel. Remember people are coming to celebrate not inspect. If you do have a guest or two who appear judgmental remember what others think about you is none of your business, you’ll be happier knowing that!
How I handle Christmas
I hosted Christmas for many years. I pretended I would be on vacation the second and third week of December. This allowed me to relax and enjoy the magic of Christmas prior to the most hectic week of all. Plus I was able to enjoy a cookie swap (if there were none in the freezer to take I would decline) and holiday parties along with evening drives to pick out the best decorated homes and playing games with my children. That meant by the first week of December I had to have all my decorations up, the cards mailed, anything I could make ahead in the freezer and all the gifts bought and wrapped. The only thing I had to do the week of our holiday feast was shop for the food, cook, bake and set the table. When anything is done with a plan, doing a little at a time, while throwing out the need for perfection, it can all come together effortlessly and enjoyably.
Clutter free gifts are the best. After a child is in their teens I give money in clever and creative ways. Sometimes I’ll conduct a scavenger hunt, children really enjoy this. A tip I gave in the blog post about calendars, I said take notes throughout the year of others likes, this makes gift giving a breeze. Even grab bags with gift certificates that are universal, movie tickets in a big can of popcorn or coffee gift certificates placed in a mug for example, will be appreciated. The one gift I love to give and have become known for is personalized calendars with pictures of my family along with photos of beautiful scenery and flowers I have taken. Photography is a hobby I enjoy and get to share with my family while giving a useful gift. Throughout the year I take pictures of celebrations and special events and then put them in calendar form at my local box store. It is like a scrap book they enjoy of the previous year. Each family member looks forward to this gift. We enjoy spending time passing them around and reminiscing.
I wish you all a peaceful holiday season!