From the Desk of Clearissa Coward’s Command Center
Take Charge of Your Holiday Season
I used this technique last year and it worked out well for me so I decided to share it with you again this year in hopes it will help you enjoy the holiday season instead of stressing your way through it. I don’t know about you, but for me, once we pass Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s holidays sort of all run together in a blur of hustle and bustle. We can barely get rid of all of the Thanksgiving leftovers before it’s time for another party and another party, and then a huge Christmas dinner and then blink and the New Year is upon us. So with that in mind, I decided last year to be a bit more organized and methodical in my methods of getting through the holiday season this year. This year I intend to enjoy the season without getting overwhelmed and spending most of my holiday season cooking, cleaning, shopping and stressing. Big emphasis on not “stressing!” This year my goal is to take charge of my holiday season. I have created a checklist and I am including it here for you as well. Of course you may tweak the list to match your activities but if you’re like me, it will all run smoother if you have a list of things to do instead of flying by the seat of your pants. 🙂 Let’s Take Charge of Your Holiday Season…Noooow!
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In order to get a head start on the holidays, I have already begun the planning and have even executed some of my plans. Here is my plan. You will notice I have included dates of completion. With dates in place, I will not have the option to procrastinate. I have a set dates of completion and I “must” meat my deadlines. The secret is to be true to your list and stick to your plan.
|Task||Date to Complete||Done|
|Set Up and Stick to A Holiday Budget. Include meals (Thanksgiving dinner & Christmas dinner and food for any parties you will be hosting) in your budget. As well as gifts and miscellaneous items (wrapping paper, Christmas cards, postage, etc.)||October 15, 2017||x|
|Pick up/order Christmas Cards||October 25, 2017||x|
|Find out what family members want for Christmas||October 31, 2017||x|
|Make a realistic Christmas Gift List (be as true to your budget as you possibly can & stick to it). Remember this is a realistic Christmas Gift List, not a dream list.||November 30, 2017||x|
|Address Christmas Cards||December 1, 2017|
|Christmas Shopping Trip 1||December 2, 2017|
|Wrap Christmas Gifts Purchased On Shopping Trip 1||December 5, 2017|
|Mail Christmas Cards||December 6, 2017|
|Complete guest list for Christmas party at home (if you are hosting)||December 7, 2017|
|Send eVite for Christmas Party Electronically (if you are hosting)||December 8, 2017|
|Christmas Shopping Trip 2||December 9, 2017|
|Order heavy hor ‘d oeuvres trays (No need to try to prepare everything yourself. Remember, we are working smarter, not harder)||December 10, 2017|
|Complete online Christmas shopping (complete online shopping early so you will not have to stress over late deliveries)||December 10, 2017|
|Christmas Decorating w/Family (it’s time to deck the halls. This includes the tree and any outside decorating you may do)||December 10, 2017, or before ( I am usually done by the end of Thanksgiving week, but that may be too soon for some)|
|Christmas Party||December 18, 2017|
|Wrap Christmas Gifts Purchased on Shopping Trip 2 and all other gifts that may have accumulated||December 20, 2017|
|Attend one Christmas Party (you cannot accept ALL invites)||On or before December 21, 2017|
|Shop for Christmas Dinner||December 22, 2017|
|Prep Food Christmas Dinner||December 23 & 24, 2017|
|CHRISTMAS DAY (Family & Close Friends) Gift Giving||December 25, 2017|
|Prepare New Year’s Day Dinner||December 31, 2017|
|Watch Night Service at Church (News Year’s Eve Celebration)||December 31, 2017|
|NEW YEARS DAY – Relax the day away with family||January 1, 2018|
Of course, your list will be different from mine. You may need to substitute prepping and cooking with travel. Perhaps you no longer send Christmas cards via snail mail, by all means, adjust your list to suit your holiday style, but do make a list and stick to it. Notice that on my task list, there are free days (days that are not listed are considered free days) in there where nothing is scheduled. Use these days to have fun and simply enjoy the season. Planning ahead will leave you some much needed quiet days to truly enjoy the holidays with your loved ones. It will also help you to slow down and just breathe and not feel so overwhelmed. This year I would like to have warm and cozy memories of the holiday season instead of remembering how rushed and stressed I felt. Isn’t that what the season is actually all about?
While making your list, include a day for just “you.” Maybe schedule an appointment at the spa to have a massage and/or mani/pedi. Finish your shopping early and spend some time in the
hustle and bustle with your spouse just window shopping while holding hands and watching everyone else rushing about at the last minute. While you are engaged in people watching, be sure to look at their faces. I promise you if they are stressed and rushing around, they will not be smiling and enjoying the holiday decorations. They will be in panic mode and the stress will show on their faces. You do not want that to be you-not this year!
How about a relaxed movie night with your family, or a night with the family where everyone chips in and helps to prep for dinner for the big day(s). Bake cookies, not because you have to because of an event you may have forgotten or been coerced in to. You may even want to include the entire family in on making your holiday checklist. Delegate some of the responsibilities that normally fall on you. Unless you’re a stickler for perfectly wrapped gifts (I confess, I am) wouldn’t it be fun to make it a family affair and perhaps have an assembly line around the table? Of course, it would:
- one person can wrap
- someone else can add the bows
- another person can add the tags
All while sipping hot chocolate or a glass of wine if you’re of age, and listening to Christmas music. Just make it fun and RELAXING. In the end, we all need to remember the reason for this season. Whether you believe in the Christ in Christmas, as I do, or believe it is just a time for family and friends, enjoy your holidays without stress. Enjoy the season by taking control of your time.
How do you organize your holidays? Do you use lists? Do you enlist the help of family members?
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Until next time…Organization is my element
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