'Tis the season to be jolly, unless of course you have far too much to do. It isn't like we can ditch all of our other duties just to deck the halls. Holiday chores are simply piled onto our already t
'Tis the season to be jolly, unless of course you have far too much to do. It isn't like we can ditch all of our other duties just to deck the halls. Holiday chores are simply piled onto our already too hectic schedules. Sure, Martha makes it look easy as she makes homemade, hand-carved reindeer but don't forget that Martha has an entire staff to help her don her gay apparel.
The best way to guarantee that you will be singing fa la la la la during the holidays is to make a plan and stick with it. The first measure is to decide on a budget. If you are one of those super-organized, saving type of people, now is the time to go and pick up the Christmas club money from the bank that you have been making deposits into all year. If you are like the rest of us, decide how much you can take out of what you already have. If you are going to use credit cards, then make a deal with yourself only to charge so much. Remember that come January you will have to start paying them back. Do you really want to have the holidays haunt you all year long?
Not everything has to be homemade to create a wonderful heartfelt holiday. Decide what you will make and what you will buy. Homemade Christmas cards are wonderful, but if you didn't begin making them back in June, forget it. Buying them will be just fine. If you want to include a family picture with the card, don't forget you will need to get the picture in to the photo developers far enough in advance to have it reproduced. There have been holidays past when my holiday cards became New Year's cards because I didn't have my pictures done in time. In addition, forget about writing a personal note in each one of them. Nice, but again unless you started this months ago, you will not have time. Although I know many people disdain the form-type holiday letter, it is better than hearing from someone once a year and all that is in the card is Love Dan and Donna. At least the letter gives you a clue as to what is going on and helps you keep up with your once-a-year friends.
Although Martha will be baking a delectable array of international holiday treats, the holidays will be just as sweet with just a few of your favorites. Decide which two to three types of cookies and candies you will make, schedule a day to bake, box or freeze the cookies, and call it done. You might also want to consider doing a cookie exchange with some friends. Each person bakes several dozen of their favorite cookies and then exchanges what they make with several friends. This way everyone gets an array of cookies but only has to bake one kind. This is a wonderful way to keep things simple while enjoying wonderful treats and time with friends.
Keep in mind that although you are capable of doing a lot, you do not have to do it all by yourself. This is the time to get the entire family involved. Ask for help with everything from trimming the tree, baking the cookies, to wrapping the gifts. Instead of being in charge of making the entire holiday dinner, have everyone contribute his or her favorite dish. The holidays are about enjoying time with family and friends and not about being stressed out and exhausted.
This year plan to have a jolly holiday season by planning and being realistic about what you can do.
Top Ten Ways to Avoid Being Less than Jolly During the Holiday Season
1. Make a plan and stick with it.
Write down on your calendar what needs to be done and by when. This will keep you on track, as things become increasingly hectic.
2. Having a Hallmark Christmas would be wonderful, but let's be realistic.
More than likely not everything is going to turn out to be just the way you planned. Don't try to make everything perfect. Do the best you can, and let the rest go.
3. Not everything has to be homemade.
In today's world, some of the best goodies and treats can be found in your supermarket. Decide which two or three cookies and candies you will make. Select one day or evening to bake and make, box or freeze the goodies, and call it done.
4. Make a budget and stick with it.
If you are one of those organized savers that opens a Holiday Club account at your local bank, all you have to do is go to the bank and pick up your money. If you are like the rest of us, decide how much you can take out of your current budget. If you plan on using credit cards, decide how much you will charge, and keep track. Remember that you do have to pay them back beginning in January.
5. Homemade cards are wonderful, but do you really have time?
Unless you began making your cards in June, forget it. Buying them will be just fine. Including a handwritten note in each one is a nice touch; however, unless you started six months ago, let it go. I know many people disdain those form holiday letters, but they are better than receiving a card that is simply signed Don and Diane. Since holiday cards are the only time we hear from some people, including a holiday letter helps us keep in touch with our once-a-year friends.
6. You do not have to attend every holiday event.
Limit the number of holiday events you will attend. You simply don't have the time to go to every single party, tree decorating event, and craft show that will be happening during this busy time of the year. Decide what you want to attend, RSVP in advance, and enjoy.
7. If you are hosting a party or holiday dinner, don't try to cook it all.
If you are hosting a holiday event, consider having some, if not all, of it catered. If that isn't in the budget this year, ask the guest to bring their favorite dish to share. This way you will only have to provide some of the food and will have the time and energy to enjoy your guest.
8. Ask for help.
You don't have to do everything. Get the family involved. Everything is more fun when done with others. Get help decorating the tree, baking the goodies, and addressing the cards.
9. Don't forget to take care of yourself.
The holidays are not the time to abandon your routine. Keep going to the gym, eating healthy foods, and taking time to relax. The holidays can be stressful and keeping up with our self-care will help to reduce the stress and allow us to enjoy the season.
10. Remember what the holidays are all about.
Beyond the gifts and glitter, this holiday is really about connecting with friends and family, and celebrating the love we have in our lives. Keep in mind what is important about this time of year. Celebrate the important things and relax in the joy of the season.
Rachelle Disbennett-Lee is a certified professional personal and business coach. Coach Lee is an internationally known coach and the publisher of the award winning newsletter, 365 Days of Coaching. For more information about Coach Lee go to her websites www.365daysofcoaching.com or www.coachlee.com