Halloween has always seemed like the point at which someone signals that the race to the ‘Holiday Season’ is on… Thanksgiving, Christmas (in our home, Hanukkah in others), New Year’s Eve, New Years day… and then…. WHEW!
I was caught in this race year after year until I eased the pain a bit with pre planning. This year I am relying totally on a timeline list. It works for me in every other area of my life… when I remember! I have been delaying a huge project in my life due to many factors, most of which were unavoidable. Yesterday, Hubby insisted that I set a deadline (in 3 VERY short weeks) to get it finished and off of our minds. To make this happen in the midst of work, family and the coming festive season will require long days and short nights, but strangely enough I feel released. I also know that this pre planning will make life so much better.
I suggest to everyone that a reasonable timeline is a great guide for anything that you need to tackle, be it work or play. Just remember to not cram too many chores into the Holiday schedule… it only creates more stress…. I know that from experience! I have been guilty of that very thing more times that I care to count! An example follows:
- Do your deep cleaning first and soon. However, unless it’s absolutely necessary, don’t attack a huge project now.
- Make a list or lists of events, guests, menus, chores, gifts… everything should be committed to a list and off of your mind.
- With your lists in hand (or on the computer), plan your calendar so that you can allot some play time in between to ‘must dos’. Of course the more you do early, the more stress you remove from the Holidays… or so I’ve heard!
- With early planning, bundling your entertaining ventures together into consecutive days is a favorite trick of many hosts and hostesses. The major prep is done once so that cleanup and set up for the next event is much easier! Just make sure that you build from small to large party so that the last event is the one that will require the most after the fact cleanup.
- Research early to find what events are planned for your community that you are interested in attending or that your guests would find fun. Planning a party around a community carrolling stroll, a production of a holiday play, a concert, a parade or lighting show… whatever is happening in your area… gives you an instant theme and entertainment all in one!
- Leave time for simple pleasures: driving to see the Christmas lights, a cold weather picnic while choosing a tree, gathered around the fireplace with hot chocolate and cookies looking at photos of Christmas’ past. The memories are the gifts we give ourselves!