Are you feeling stressed out and behind on your holiday preparations?
Too much to do and too little time left to do it all?
What does one do when you are way behind before you even begin?
Here are six ways to simplify and refocus:
1.Haven’t finished (or ah hem, started) decorating yet? Just say NO. Do you really need to empty all 25 holiday rubbermaid containers and use 132 strands of lights? Enough said. Find a small focal point in a couple of rooms to add a festive touch of greenery or a jar of brightly colored ornaments & Christmas balls. There is really no need to deck out every shelf and surface with an extravagant holiday display. Really. Totally not necessary. Give yourself a break and keep it simple.
2.Feeling like an epic failure because you don’t have enough time to bake with your kids? Devise a shortcut. You have my permission to use pre-made sugar cookies. It saves some time but still allows your kids the fun of decorating and eating holiday cookies. And isn’t that the point?
3. Short on money but pressured to bring a gift? Get creative about gift giving. If you can, give your time in the new year instead! Offer to babysit for a young couple, plant someone’s garden, cook for someone’s dinner party, offer a care basket of homemade goodies for a Saturday morning breakfast, share a stack of gently read books with handmade bookmarks, give a day of running errands or organizing for an elderly or busy friend.
4.Need to get the house picked up in a hurry for a holiday gathering? Use my grab and stash method — you may remember me talking about this and it is a perfect quick housekeeping strategy even during the holidays! Take paper bags, label the front with the name of the room you are cleaning and gather up all the miscellaneous clutter from that space. My only rule is no bills or important papers can go in the bag, but everything else is fair game. Put the bags in a closet and set an appointment with yourself in January to sort through it once the holidays are over. If you don’t feel like looking in the bag in January, toss it. You probably don’t need that stuff anyways.
5.Don’t even know where to begin? Put the top three projects that need to get done down on paper. Shut down the computer (yes, the computer needs to be turned off, eh hem) and tackle one project at a time. It is a lot easier to focus once you break it down. Multi-tasking leads to anxiety and lack of progress.
6.Need to rev up your holiday spirit? Give yourself a break! Pour yourself a holiday drink, turn on the Christmas tunes, read the Christmas story and remember the reason for the season.
Adapted and republished from December 2008
Photo & DIY Pinecone Elves instructions: Martha Stewart