8 Tips For A Stress-Less Holiday

I think GPS systems are the greatest. (Global Position System) I know a few people who definitely need them. A few years ago we had guests driving from California to our home in Utah to stay over night. It was about a ten hour drive. I gave what I thought was excellent instructions and directions so they would not get lost. The night (early morning) my guests were to arrive I woke up at 3:00 a.m. with a start as Maggie hadn’t arrived. (She didn’t follow my directions, instead made up her own). From our place they were driving back to Washington D.C.. Her sister said she was afraid to take a nap because she was afraid she would wake up in Mexico. A GPS in her car will save her hours of frustration and time.

With the holidays arriving GPS is a great idea for all of us to have. The GPS I am talking about is: Great Planning System. By planning ahead we can have a happy stress free, joyous holiday season. Christmas can be one of the most stressful holidays. But with forethought and organization it can be fun and a holiday to look forward to instead of dreading.

First of all we need to decide what it is we want to get from the holidays. Do we want to have big dinners, entertain friends, and attend every function we are invited to, decorate, bake, spend time with family, send out Christmas cards, exchange neighbor gifts, establish traditions, give to charity or do
something unique this year?

Once we have our goals in mind then we can move forward.

oTake some time and decide what is important for you to do this year for the holiday. Then write it down, map it out.

oEstablish a time frame to accomplish each task. If it isn’t accomplished in the time we thought it would be, no beating up on ourselves or negative self talk. And if it doesn’t get done ask yourself what is the worst that can happen?

oCook food ahead of time and freeze it. Some pies freeze well as do cookies. Check your recipes to see what else you can make and freeze.

oPlan on delegating. Who can put up the outdoor lights? Who can do the food shopping? Who can help decorate? Get a crew together to share in the fun.

oPlan a specific time to decorate, another to bake, another to deliver gifts-whatever you plan break it up into little jobs, a little at a time.

oIf you send out Christmas cards, organize a basket with the cards, addresses and stamps, and then while watching a T.V. show address the envelopes on the commercials. Do december global holidays cards in November to save time in December. OR Instead of sending cards, call your friends to wish them a Merry Christmas. Long
distance calls have become so reasonable it may cost less than sending a card.

oKeep a notebook with the names of those you are giving gifts to. Check off the gift as it is purchased and make a note when it is wrapped and sent. You could do this on a spread sheet if you use the computer.

oIf your family will let you mix up your traditions, try a new one, customize to your own personal preference.

Through all the planning remember this is to be a joyous season; don’t get sucked into thinking you have to do it all. Actually you don’t have to do any of it so have fun with what you decide you really want to do.

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