Archive for December, 2014

Simplify Through Holiday Planning

The  ultimate goal of Christmas is to spend quality time with family and friends. With so much to do during this time I encourage you to see how you might simplify your holiday. To simplify you may want to decrease the number of gifts exchanged, select only the most important events to attend, ask family to bring a dish for the holiday dinner, say “no” to those invitations not on your family’s favorites list or delegate activities that feel laborious to you like fixing foods or wrapping presents.
This month I have included a checklist for planning your time and activities. In preparing this list, I put the items in order of importance in timing. I also realize that many of these items may not apply to your holiday preparation, but they may remind you to consider eliminating or scaling back on an activity. Take a few minutes with your calendar to schedule the activities that are essential to your holiday and schedule a time to complete them. Having a plan on paper gets the overwhelm out of your head and allows you to be more relaxed in order to ENJOY the holiday.
Here’s to a simple holiday with friends and family!

My Holiday Planning Checklist

 Plan holiday location and travel
 Research other local holiday events and activities
 Confirm and schedule the school holiday events
 Determine family wardrobe needs for events such as the family dinners, school events, church, and parties
 Schedule a  photo shoot for holiday cards
 Plan who and what will need to be cleaned in the house or make sure cleaning lady is scheduled for your needs
 Plan activities of visitors are coming to town
 Create list of family  gifts to be given and ideas for the gifts (establish list deadlines)
 Create list of gifts for non-family (hairdresser, post man, teachers)
 Plan time for shopping for gifts
 Get pictures taken for holiday card
 Shop for gifts – think of events and perishables, not clutter. (See Cyndy’s previous email on non-clutter gifts)
 Research activities and local events to keep the children entertained when school is not in session
 Purchase the tree or bring the artificial tree from attic
 Put up your tree and decorate it
 Bring down outdoor decorations from the attic and decorate the outside of the house
 Bring down holiday tabletop and soft good items from the attic and decorate the inside of the house
 Purchase firewood
 Order gifts online to ensure delivery by the holiday
 Gather addresses for Christmas
 Purchase Christmas cards
 Ensure children take teacher gifts to school
 To the post office to ship any presents.
 Plan meals and appetizers.
 Plan grocery shopping for non-perishables
 Pack for traveling
 If entertaining, plan dishes,  linens, silverware etc.
 Make ornaments with the kids
 Wrap the presents … or … find someone to wrap the gifts. You don’t want to be doing this the night before.
 Add voicemail message to your phone regarding your holiday hours
 If celebrating the New Year make plans
 Apply your plan for cleaning the house or ensure the cleaning service is still planning to arrive
 Shop for the perishable grocery needs
 Take a look at your front porch and see how it looks for visitors. Does it need cleaning?