Monday, December 16, 2013

Tips For A More Organized and Enjoyable Holiday Season


As the holiday season approaches, many of you may feel overwhelmed by everything you want to complete before the holiday season arrives.  By following some easy tips, you will have an enjoyable and wonderful holiday season.
The first tip is to start compiling lists now for gifts and menus and start planning your time to accomplish these tasks.  You should have a list of all those you would like to purchase gifts for this year.  Make sure it is a list you will not lose easily.  Many smartphones have apps you can download for free.  As you start to hear your children ask for items they see and talk about, add them to the list.  Make sure you write down the items you think about for yourself as well.   Most of the time my clients are so consumed with the lists for others they forget to write down their wishes which makes it hard for their loved ones to shop for them.  Continue to add to the lists until you shop.  Plan your shopping days whether you shop in person or online, mark that time on your calendar.  If you shop on black Friday, with friends, or at various times, put it on your calendar and take your list with you.  I always recommend to my clients to buy those gifts that need to be shipped first so you can wrap and send them on time.  I also let my clients know that wrapping gifts as you buy them is easier and less stressful than waiting until night before.
If you are having some or all of the holiday celebration at your home or need to take items to various celebrations, start collecting the recipes now.  Have a special holiday folder marked and add to it as you think of dishes you would like to serve. 

If you are having guests in your home for 2 or 20 days, make a menu for each day you have guests.  Think about how much easier it will be if you are not stressing about what to have for each meal while your guests are visiting.  Do not feel compelled to make a complex meal for each day if you are working too.  Guests will be fine with standard choices for breakfast and lunch if they are visiting for multiple days.  Don't be afraid to have your menu visible to visitors too.  It might encourage them to offer to cook.
Baking should be scheduled if you are a big baker and make multiple types of cookies, cakes, and candies.  Schedule the times and days or evenings you will be baking your favorites.  I know many people start baking early and freeze some items ahead of using them.
You will need to schedule your decorating too.  Many people start decorating outside before Thanksgiving because the weather is nice one weekend and it is better than putting lights up in 30 degrees.  The tip for this is to test your lights now.  Plug in all your lights to determine if they are working or not.  The worst time to find out you need more strings of lights is while you are putting them out.  Schedule decorating outside and inside.  Set aside time as you can.  Maybe you decorate by floor in the house or the tree on a different day than other decorating.  If you have not used specific decorating items, go ahead a donate those.
Following some or all of these tips will get you through the holiday season with less stress and make them more enjoyable.