Can you smell the turkey and gravy or the home made sugar cookies? Can you hear the rush of footsteps racing downstairs to open presents, and the jingle bells ringing? The holidays are approaching, and they are approaching fast! Many radio stations have already started playing non-stop Christmas music, and stores are filled with decorations galore. Your senses will soon be on overload with holiday cheer, but I have also witnessed the stress and anticipation from people around me as they think of all the daunting tasks ahead. The holidays are supposed to be the most magical time of year, but nowadays many often feel a sense of dread as they approach. I believe you can get that magical feeling back IF you stay organized. There are two and a half weeks until Thanksgiving, and seven weeks until Christmas. If you plan ahead, you will soon have everything checked off your list so you can relax and enjoy the holidays. Do not let the holidays overwhelm you. It just takes a little organization!
I encourage everyone to get organized and stay calm during this time of year. After all, the holidays are supposed to be filled with everything EXCEPT stress. Happiness, joy, fun, excitement, laughter and love are the words that should describe the holidays. Follow these holiday organizing tips so you can stay sane and calm during these holiday months.
1.) Make A Plan
- Grab your phone, or pen and paper and start writing out your to do list.
- Who is hosting the holidays?
- Who is bringing a dish to dinner?
- How many people do you need to cook for?
- What day is your annual holiday party?
- What decorations do you have and what decorations do you need to buy?
- Make sure your guest room is prepared for guests. Do you need any extra linens or sheets?
- How many people do you need to buy presents for?
2.) Mark the calendar
- There will be a bunch of parties, events, and get togethers. Start marking everything down on the calendar so you always have a birds eye view of the schedule.
- Some dates to mark down:
- The time and location of Thanksgiving dinner
- Your child’s school Christmas play
- Your family’s holiday party
- Any friends’ holiday parties
- Deadline for getting your holiday cards mailed
- When your out of town guests arrive
- The deadline for mailing out of town gifts in time to arrive
3.) Santa’s List
- Make your list and check it twice. One of the culprits of stress is what to get everyone. Make a list of everyone on your list. This includes family, friends, co-workers, school teachers etc. Anyone you plan on getting a gift for needs to be written down.
- Now it’s time to get creative. Under each person’s name on your list, write a bunch of ideas. By setting aside the time to start thinking, you will ignite your creativity and figure out what will make the person smile as they open their gift.
- Not everything can be purchased in a store, so you want to plan as early as possible. Some things need to be handmade, or ordered weeks in advance. By writing down everyone’s name, and your ideas, you will be able to make a final decision faster. Then all you have to do is go to the store, or buy online. That is the easy part!
- When it comes to the tiny tots, ask them early what they want for Christmas. They probably have a hundred things in their mind. This will also help grandparents, uncles and aunts because you will be prepared when they ask what your kids want this year.
4.) Setting A Budget
- One of the biggest things that cause stress and anxiety during the holidays is MONEY and overspending. Decide on the amount of money you want to spend total, and per person. Knowing this will help tremendously. It is not knowing that equates to over spending and stress.
- Do not feel pressured to spend when you can’t. There are so many gifts you can give others that don’t involve spending a dime. Often, these are the gifts that mean the most.
- Know your budget, and make a promise to yourself to stick with that number. You will be so glad you did when your credit card statement comes the following month.
5.) Do not over-complicate things
- The holidays are not complicated. We are the ones who overcomplicate things. When you simplify it, the holidays are meant to bring together the ones you love and create memories together. They are meant to slow down time, and celebrate the ones around you. Don’t let the decorations, gifts, and hustle and bustle get to you. Remember the real reason we celebrate the holidays. That and keeping organized will help you from getting overwhelmed.