Holidays are supposed to be fun! Christmas is only 1 week away and hearing that brings about stress in most people. I've been saying for a month that if you plan ahead, the holidays will go much smoother. I can't help saying that - I like to plan. But if you didn't, not all is lost. In fact, holidays are what you make of them and you still have a full week to decide if you want to have fun. If you can't figure out how to do it on your own, here are 5 tips to make it happen:
If the holiday meals are stressing you out, call up those attending and ask them to bring something specific. If you don't specify, you might end up with 3 kinds of green beans. So figure out your meal plan now, assign certain dishes to others, make the main course yourself, and relax. Or turn it into a pot luck and really relax.
The same thing goes with the holiday cleaning before guests arrive. Assign specific chores to everyone in your home so you don't have to do it all. Gift wrapping? Take advantage of the free wrapping some stores offer when you buy your gifts.
2. Make Your List - Check It Twice
Don't think that you can handle everything by yourself and remember it all. Make those lists, whether paper or electronic, and keep jotting all of those little things down as they come to you. That way you can group like activities together and plan out errands accordingly. Plus you'll sleep better with all of those nagging thoughts out of your mind. For example: Write out your grocery list in the order of the aisles of the store. That way you can whip through the aisles in order, getting everything you need, and you don't have to zig zag all over the place.
3. Be Realistic
It's wonderful to have all of these lists and goals and activities to do around the holidays, but sometimes it gets to be too much. Three Santa visits are a lot for toddlers to handle, so cut back to only one. Make holiday cookies once or twice, but not every week for a month. Go out driving to see the holiday lights, but don't hit up every neighborhood. In fact, wait until bedtime, let the kids see just a few and then sleep in the car while you enjoy the lights yourself.
4. Don't Forget to Take Care of You
Did you eat a wonderfully balanced lunch today or did it consist of leftover Christmas cookies and a soda, eaten on the run? Schedule in some time to relax or the holidays will be one big blur, followed by a doctor visit after you've worn yourself out. Get enough sleep, relax while watching an entire holiday movie (2 hours of couch time!), and remember why you are doing it all.
5. Wait, Why Are We Doing It All?
Holidays are supposed to be fun! If you are so caught up in the "everything has to be magazine perfect Pinterest craze" then you will miss all the cute moments and memories. I'm a professional organizers and my home isn't like that at all - it's not livable!
Holidays are supposed to be fun! Take a few minutes tonight and just look at your family. Really look at them. Will they notice the little things that seem so important to you that you've just got to get done? Will they notice coordinated wrapping paper, cards, and bows? Or will they appreciate more time with you? It's your choice. Happy countdown to Christmas - make the most of it!