Tis the Season! The holidays are almost here – are you ready to celebrate?
It’s usually around the first of October that I promise myself that I’ll have it altogether this year for the holidays. That I won’t be the frazzled shopper looking for last minute gifts or the person scrambling for addresses for holiday cards.That I’ll do every cute idea I see on Pinterest to celebrate with my kiddos, and that my neighbor gifts will rock and won’t take up a ton of time or money. I also end up telling myself that it’s totally normal to stay up all night on Christmas Eve wrapping presents and then promise myself in the wee hours of the morning that next year I’ll have all my shopping done and wrapped before Dec.1st!
But I’ve learned that best intentions are simply that – intentions. I get a ton more satisfaction out of a job well done, as well as a chance to actually enjoy the holiday and my family, if I do a bit of planning beforehand. That way, I have a clear idea of what I want to accomplish and what I’m committed to for the holiday season!
I find that planning is a whole lot more fun, if I have a cute place to jot my holiday bucket list and schedule the Season’s events – if you’re nodding your head in agreement to that one – download the PPDC Holiday Planner at the bottom of this post. It’s 8 full pages of holiday planning bliss and includes a monthly calendar & holiday bucket list for both November & December; holiday menu planners; holiday card list so you can collect addresses and keep track of what you’ve already sent; and of course holiday party planners.
5 Tips for a Stress Free Holiday Season
- Take Stock & Set Goals – It’s never fun to get to the end of something and then realize the things you most wanted to do got replaced with the “not so important” things. Take stock of holiday seasons in the past – what things were your favorites? Which don’t matter to you as much? Is there a tradition that you want to start or stop? How do you want to spend time with your family? Do you have plans or ideas on who you and your family can help others this holiday season? Ask your kids or family members their thoughts on these questions so you get the most out of your holiday plans.
- Do What You Can – NOW. I learned one of the best time management skills from a dear friend of mine a few years ago and it’s made all the difference in my holiday planning. Checklists and making a plan are great – but “do what you can, now.” If you’re hosting Thanksgiving, you’re to do list is starting to take shape – after you’ve made your plan, review the list and take care of anything that can be done right now. For example, shop for linens or pull the ones you have out of storage, make your guest list, decide which type of pies you’ll be making and/or buying and start picking up the ingredients at the store or decide on a bakery you’d like to order from, and so on. You’ll be happy that you knocked out the easy stuff now so that you’re not in a rush later.
- Look for ways to Help Others – So many families have traditions where they help others during the holidays. I always love to hear what others do – our family always picked names off the giving tree at our church or the local mall for Christmas and collected and donated canned goods for the local food shelter during November and early December. If you’re family is interested in helping at local shelters or participating in a giving tree, make plans now so you’re sure to get the opportunity.
- Consider doing an Advent or Countdown – I’ve found that some of my best memories from my childhood and the things that my own kids love the most is when we do something holiday’ish every day. It can get overwhelming quickly so I’ve worked to streamline our holiday celebrating a little with an Advent or Countdown. Our countdown is usually a mix of larger activities or outings mixed with more simple ones.
- Break It Down & Plan it Out – having house guests or throwing a holiday party can add a lot of extra stress to the holiday season, but it really doesn’t have to. After you’ve got your holiday game plan, take a minute to plan the details of some of your larger activities. Use the PPDC Holiday Party Planner Sheet, consult Pinterest for ideas, delegate any pieces to family members or those attending, and apply plenty of #2 from above. Then you’ll be sure to enjoy your party and not be too exhausted to enjoy the rest of the holiday.
Download the PPDC 2016 Holiday Planner
PDF includes holiday bucket list and calendar, party planner & menu planner for both
November & December as well as a holiday card list