Now that my three Thanksgivings are over, I can turn my attention to Christmas. There is so much I want to do and enjoy, and just a few short weeks in which to accomplish it all.
Staying organized is key. By setting priorities and sticking to a time frame and budget, it is possible to have a fun and relaxed holiday season. Martha has several tips and tricks for staying organized during the holidays, including a planning calender.
In addition to Martha's tips for staying organized and sane for the holidays, let me add my own:
Priorities--This is the biggest and best tip I can give to anyone wanting a perfect holiday: only do the holiday activities that bring you joy and happiness, and let the rest go. Do you feel like you have to send out Christmas cards, but truly hate to do it? Then don't do it! Do you feel like you have to make a gingerbread house or Christmas isn't complete? Then make that a priority and schedule a time for it. The perfect Norman Rockwell Christmas scene is beautiful, but rarely attainable. Go with what makes you happy and disregard the rest of the hoopla.
Make a list--Based on your priorities make a realistic to-do list that includes when you want things done. Sending gifts to faraway friends and family? Factor in the gifts' travel time to the due date. Want to host a holiday party? Be sure to get the invitations out in plenty of time for people to add it to their calenders. A list of all the comings and goings of December (and this includes all holiday parties and events) will keep you organized, making for a much more relaxing and enjoyable holiday.
I am taking my own advice, and working up a TMI-Household calender for the month of December. This includes all parties and family gatherings. The calender also doubles as my to-do list: I know what needs to get done and when. I'm careful not to schedule too much in each day so that I can enjoy the season as it progresses.
After all, if you're not enjoying the holiday season, then what's the point of all the baking, decorating, partying, shopping, entertaining, etc.? Christmas is in 26 days. If we clarify our priorities and stick to our time table and list, we will be able to get through it intact. Happy holidays!