Last week I started my Christmas preparations by getting my gift wrap organizer stocked and ready and doing an inventory on my gift closet. I try to get done whatever I can early so there is less to do in December except of course the eating and the singing but especially the eating.
But then I got to thinking about you folks in the US with TWO upcoming holidays so close together. I can’t imagine how that all works out organizationally (don’t you just love that word?). Here in Canada we enjoyed our Thanksgiving back in October so it’s out of the way and I can focus on Christmas all of November. But for those in the US, your Thanksgiving and Christmas are so close together, one right after the other. Do you typically wait for Thanksgiving to be over before you start even thinking about Christmas plans or do the two just overlap somehow? Do tell!
So as I’m making a list of posts I could do that could possibly help everyone stay organized this holiday season I want to be sensitive to your needs and what will be most helpful to you. Would you take a few minutes to tell me what areas you struggle with the most when it comes to getting and staying organized for the holidays? Is it the cooking, the cleaning, the decorating, the gifts, the parties, the baking, the activities, the scheduling, the cards? Whew I’m exhausted just writing it all out.
I would like to address these concerns in upcoming posts where I can and perhaps share some incredible resources from around the web. There are some pretty great ones out there that I can’t wait to tell you about. No use reinventing the wheel as they say. Actually who is “they” that says this anyway? I have no idea but well you know what I mean.
For my family we keep things pretty simple at this time of the year. Gone are the days of trying to do it all. I gave that up long ago. Each year I have to make some tough decisions about what we can and can’t do and to be honest I say no a lot and it means some people aren’t happy with me. BUT my family is my first priority. My two oldest are teenagers now and I’m constantly looking at them wondering where did the time go? Time goes so fast and I want these years with them at home to be special. But special doesn’t have to mean running here there and everywhere or spending large amounts of cash either. For us it simply means time together hanging out, enjoying each others’ company. Relaxing and eating (we must not forget the eating). This is what is most important to us. Knowing this bring so much clarity to the holiday decisions I have to make each year.
This of course will look different for everyone, but knowing what your priorities are ahead of time will make a huge difference in the things you say yes and no to each year. So take a few moments to think about what makes you smile during the holiday season, what brings you the most joy. Ask your family the same thing. Weed out the things that don’t contribute to that. Negotiate and compromise. For instance, if everyone loves a whole house decked out for the holidays but every one mumbles and grumbles when it comes to helping take it all down then maybe it means pulling back on some of the decor. We only decorate the living room in our house so it’s pretty easy to put up and take down and everyone helps. Negotiate and compromise.
And sometimes we just want to do it all because well it’s the holidays and there is so much fun to be had…the eating, the parties, the decorating (if that’s what floats your boat), the singing, etc. Sometimes the decisions to be made are HARD because we want to do it all and we forget that we are only human and can only do so much. We think we’ll be able to fit one more thing in, do one more thing, bake one more thing, attend one more function, until we’re smack dab in the middle of it all crying uncle.
Everything we say yes to requires something from us so don’t forget to factor all of it in.
Do we need one more list or do we need to do one less thing?
Anyway just some thoughts for you to swirl around this Wednesday. Would love to know what you think.