We haven’t even made it to Thanksgiving yet, and I can already feel my stress level rising over all the things that need to get accomplished by 12/25. The holidays are supposed to be such a fun and special time, so I’m determined to not let that Grinch of a to-do list ruin Christmas for me this year. Here’s my suggested game plan:
1. Make a game plan. (Yes, step one of the game plan is to make a game plan. #sorrynotsorry). If you’re not a list maker and calendar keeper and you still feel like you are on top of your life, then more power to you, but I’d be drowning. Figure out what you need to do and when you’re going to do it. That month between Thanksgiving and Christmas seems like “plenty of time” until it’s Christmas Eve and you’re at Target for stocking stuffers instead of at home watching Christmas movies with your family.
2. Set a budget. The end of the year can bring a lot of financial stress to families because of the added expenses and activities (and those end of the year tax bills). Try to tackle this head-on by knowing exactly what it’s going to cost and sticking to that budget. Note: I almost always fail at this one, so do as I say and not as I do.
3. Start now. There is usually some downtime the week of Thanksgiving, so why not knock out your shopping list? My kids have already circled their choices in the toy catalog, so I just went ahead and purchased them. If you’re out and see something your brother might like, just buy it! Gift giving is one of my very favorite things in life, but overthinking every gift can take the joy out of it. Get those gifts and get them wrapped NOW.
4. Have some fun. If your kids are complaining that they don’t want to go ice skating but you’ve envisioned that it’s Christmas time and we just HAVE to go ice skating… that’s not going to end well. Speaking from experience, of course. There are endless activities to do around the holidays, and you likely won’t get to all of them this year. That’s okay! Schedule in a few family nights and collectively decide what everyone wants to do, and go do it. Get out of your (never going to be clean enough) house, and go have some fun!
5. Coffee + Wine. Really this a magical combination that’s well known to most moms and key to their existence. To that sweet genius of a human that decided to put a Starbucks in Target, thank you from the bottom of my heart! But for real, get some good coffee while you’re out running your errands or pour yourself a glass of wine and turn on some Christmas music while you wrap your presents. Seems like such a small thing, but I’m telling you, it can make the whole process a lot more enjoyable.
Happy Holidays! And cheers!