Let’s face it, not every Christmas is easy and organized. Circumstances change, activities vary from year to year and we have our own personal seasons of coping (or not).
The good news is that even during less-organized years you can still benefit from some simple planning. Here are some ideas for ways to prepare a bit ahead to lessen the stress:
Meal planning – This is not the time to try new recipes or overhaul your meal system. At the beginning of each week make a simple list of meals. You don’t even have to assign days, just a list. I’m thinking fish sticks and beans. Simple meals from the grocery store rather than the drive-thru. ‘Tis the season for quick and easy.
House preparations – Think about upcoming holiday guests. This is our year to have all of our children (and their families) home, so we’ve been washing quilts, stocking up on toilet paper and checking the towel supply.
Clothing preparations – This may sound like an odd thing to plan ahead, but holiday events often mean special clothes. When you’re dressing a houseful of children (or even just yourself) this cannot be left to chance. Check on the supply of clean tights, socks and underwear, too. Don’t fret if you haven’t planned ahead weeks in advance. It still counts if you get the clothes washed and ready a couple of hours ahead of time. The important thing to avoid is the last-minute anguish of missing shoes and holey tights.
Holiday cooking preparations – If you traditionally bake special foods during this season, stock up on the supplies a little at a time during your weekly grocery shopping leading up to Christmas. That will help avoid last-minute overwhelm (and you might even catch a sale!).
Recognize that one of the quickest ways to defuse stress is to write things down. Capture the vague, swirling to-do’s and turn them into a simple list–without emotion. Assign some of them to children, cross some of them off the list, then tackle the remaining chores realistically. That pile of laundry is not the end of the world. Just get started.
Another aspect is to go with the flow. Don’t fight your life, live in flow and accept where you are.
Some simple planning will help you enjoy the season, even if it’s not your most organized Christmas!
Please share your tips for planning even if you’re having an un-organized Christmas…