Time for my annual post of ideas, questions and suggestions on how to make this holiday season what you want it to be. More joy, more time in the moment, less stress and rushing around.
When does your holiday season start? Funny question? I thought so, but at a workshop last year about having a less stressful holiday, the moms in the group said the holiday rush starts with school starting in September.
Rolls through school, then Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s — As a child, I would have loved to think about the holidays being five or six months long!
So what can we do –
What’s your favorite part of Thanksgiving, Christmas or whatever holidays you celebrate in the next few months? Is it the family time? The rituals? Long holiday dinners? Music, pageants, events? Think about and talk in your household about what the special parts are. Focus on these. Put them on your calendar so they become a priority, and not given up on at the last minute because “we’re out of time.”
Learn to say “yes…” to offers of assistance. If you keep a list, you can give out pieces and parts to other people to do. It’s hard when family or friends ask “how can I help?” because you have to think about what needs to get done, can they do it easily and well, etc. It’s easier for you to ask for some small, specific task: Can you pick up the paper goods when you’re at the store next? Can you make up namecards for the table – for the creative child or grandchild in your life (or the graphic designer I suppose!)
And learn to say “no,” so your calendar doesn’t get so filled up that you lose the joy of the moment. As in: “No, we can’t make your party – but let’s get together for dinner, just us.” “No, I can’t bake, but I could go to my favorite bakery and bring a delicious special dessert.” All ways to save you stress and/or time. Let go of some of the smaller things during a super busy time like this season.
Group the list by week. If you looked at my grocery list the last week or two, you’d find some Thanksgiving items, food which is not perishable. I’m spreading out the cost and the heavy shopping bags over several weeks. And I’m keeping track on the PC.
Keep the list you make for use at other holidays, birthdays, anniversaries and even small groups you have over for dinner. We don’t host big holidays very often, so it’s easy to forget what has to get done. Examples: Taking out the tablecloth to get cleaned and ironed. Or borrowing the coffee urn from a relative.
If you give gifts of an experience or you make your gifts, start an ideas list now. As you see friends and colleagues, start asking them for ideas. It’s interesting conversation and it will get you started with enough time to really use that creativity.
So what’s one small thing you can start with?
The Houseguests are Coming.
Quick Checklist from Space4U: “Quick Holiday Organizing Tips”