Posted at 5:50 am on November 24, 2010 by Farrah
Imagine sitting down to Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, table beautifully set, music playing in the background, house decorated inside and out, cider simmering on the stove, perfectly decorated cookies, homemade pies, expertly wrapped homemade gifts….WHAT? Right… back to reality here. We’re NOT Martha Stuart, are we? And we actually don’t have to be to have a wonderful holiday season! You can have a priceless holiday without all the stress that Martha’s ways will bring us!
I think we all look at too many cover photos on magazines and watch all the shows and think we NEED to do this kind of holiday in order for it to be memorable. But we really don’t! What are the memories you have of holidays past? Are the first things that pop into your head pretty cookies and perfectly wrapped gifts? Or is it more about the laughs and fun you had with the family, games you played, or how yummy the food was? I admit that right after I think about the family fun and I think about how good the food was! Yum!
A great strategy for reducing the amount of work and stress the holidays can cause is to prioritize your to-do list. Most of us would love to have a picture-perfect holiday but just don’t have the time to make it all happen. Try focusing on the areas that are the most important to you – maybe quality time with family, wonderful food – and put the tasks related to that at the top of the list. The other things that would be “nice to do” can go lower on the list. If you get farther along than you expect to, you can do a little something extra!
1. Get your holiday cards staged and ready to go before Thanksgiving. Work on them a little at a time while doing something enjoyable!
2. Throughout the year, jot down gift ideas on a list for friends and family. That way when shopping time comes, you’re ahead of the game because you have ideas already.
3. Contact family members now about clothing sizes for anybody you may buy this kind of gift for. Keep it on the gift idea list mentioned above.
4. Find out what your nieces and nephews are interested in currently so you’ll have a starting point for gift ideas. When they’re young, their interests change so quickly so it helps to find out what the latest and greatest is!
5. Review your November and December calendar by month so you can try to avoid over-scheduling yourself with parties and volunteer activities. Prioritize your activities so that the most important don’t get left off.
6. Start planning your holiday meals now. Make a list of what will be served and ask party attendees to bring something off the list. This way you won’t end up with 4 pumpkin pies and no mashed potatoes!
7. Do a high-level decluttering of your entertaining areas of your home over the next several weeks. Doing a little at a time will make the project seem more manageable.
8. Start your holiday decorating the weekend of Thanksgiving. It will be less stressful than shopping and most of us have extra time off that week.
9. Purge unwanted, broken or unloved decorations as you take them out. Donate what’s still usable to the Salvation Army. When you take down decorations, do another purge and repack in ornament boxes. Stock up on tissue paper to wrap delicate ornaments in.
10. After Christmas, organize your decorations so they’re easier to get to and take up as little space as possible. Check out the holiday organizing products below for ideas.
Hopefully some of the tips above will help you minimize your holiday stress!
What are you greatest causes of holiday stress? Party planning, out of town guests, holiday decorations? Please share your stress causes with the group so I can see if I can help you out. Post below please.
I’d also love to hear about and see photos your holiday decoration disasters. Post a photo below to show us what your holiday storage looks like. What does your scary “holiday closet” look like? What’s inside those jumbled boxes? I want to see!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I can’t wait for some yummy pie….oh, and turkey too.
Destination Organization founder Jamie Martin has a passion for helping others and fulfills this passion through her career as a professional organizer. After starting a family and deciding corporate life was longer for her, Jamie sought out the flexibility of being an entrepreneur. She found her new career in professional organizing. Jamie has had life-long training as an organizer, always being the one in her circle of friends, family and co-workers to be asked to solve an organizational dilemma or act as project manager. She continues her education through reading, networking and attending events through the National Association of Professional Organizers.
Her desire to help others simplify their lives and reach their personal or career goals drives her as a professional organizer. She combines her hands-on organizational skills with compassion, neutrality, confidentiality and humor in order to guide her clients to a peaceful and productive life. Jamie imparts structure and process, while keeping her clients focused so they are not overwhelmed with the whole project. She strives for maintainable, real-life, custom solutions for her client’s organizational needs.