The holidays make me so anxious! How can I stay organized this year?
To answer, I take a page out of the addiction recovery community – I take it one day at a time.
Stores start encouraging the holiday decorating and shopping way too early. This year, I was determined to celebrate each holiday as it came. Halloween, Thanksgiving, my son’s 3rd birthday. When December 1st hit, I was ready to start thinking Christmas. But not before. This helped my sanity a lot.
And, no, I didn’t worry about missing any Black Friday deals.
Another key thing for me is to prioritize. Rather than thinking about everything I have to do before Christmas, I keep reminding myself to think only about what I need to do right now. I started with ordering the presents I needed to have shipped first. Shipping deadlines dictated priority here. Then, a few days later, I worked on creating my holiday cards on Shutterfly and ordered them. To speed up the mailing process, I printed out labels with all my recipient’s addresses on it. I printed them directly from my Address Book on my iMac from a distribution list I made a few years back that I keep updated throughout the year.
The other presents, which I am buying locally, will be purchased in the order in which I will see the recipients and when it’s convenient for me. I’ve picked up a few items as I am out doing errands. Again, the key is to not worry about everything all at once. Spreading things out throughout December 1 – 24 keeps things manageable and ensures that I’m not spending too much money all at once.
Prioritizing also comes into play when dealing with holiday parties and visiting friends and family. You can’t be everything to everybody. I’ve tried this before, and it doesn’t work. Don’t try it. And don’t be afraid to say no every now and then. If an invite stresses you out too much, it’s probably not worth it. Simply say thanks, but respectfully decline the invitation. Maybe you can catch up with the person after the holidays. Or maybe not. Remember, you might not be high on their priority list either!
As far as wrapping goes, I will start to wrap my presents soon in the evenings after my kids go to bed. I have wrapping paper I purchased after Christmas last year, so I am all set with supplies. I also keep gift bags and boxes from presents I’ve received in the past to reuse. Easy peasy!
So, for me, it comes down to spreading things out, reminding myself not to worry about everything at once and not doing more than I really need to do.
What about you? How do you stay organized and calm during the holidays? Take some time to add your answer in the comments of the Life Well Live post on BlogHer.com. You can also win $25o by sharing your best Life Well Lived Moment. ($250 for a comment! Sounds pretty awesome to me. I just entered myself.)
Photo Credit: © Suhendri Utet | Dreamstime.com