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Barely survived the holidays last year? Make this holiday season better with a bit of planning

by respaced on November 12, 2010

“The holidays are right around the corner.” Don’t you hate that phrase? It makes Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s Eve sound like nosy big sisters checking up on you. I can even hear their smarmy little voices! So this year, take back control of the holiday debacle by seizing this time to do a bit of planning.

Get out a piece of paper or open your computer. Time for a brain dump. Here’s what you’re going to figure out:

1.What are the main tasks for each holiday? (e.g. At Christmas they might be baking cookies, sending greeting cards, wrapping presents, etc.)
2. Which of these tasks do I love? Which ones does my family love?
3. Which ones do I dread? Which ones does my family dread? (Make a special note of the ones your family is divided on.)
4. What actions did I take that made things go smoothly for me?
5. What actions did I take that made things harder on me?

Analyze that list and assess which activities can be cut and which ones must be saved. Make sure your whole family is on board with these decisions. Then delegate tasks and break the ones you must do down into steps. Schedule “due dates” for them on your calendar, if you tend to procrastinate.

Take your own good advice and break your own bad habits. Dreading some essential holiday task? Ask yourself, what is the simplest and most effective way I can get this task done? Then write your plan and stick to it!

Remember that most of these holiday tasks we do are supposed to enhance our experience of the holidays, not dampen it. Take the time now to figure out what tasks you can ditch so you have more time to enjoy the tasks that you love.

For more tips and ideas, I highly recommend the web site Organized Christmas.

Didn’t George Deputee take a cool photo?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Sherrey November 12, 2010 at 6:55 pm

MJ, loved this one! Needed a kick in the seat of the pants as I sit here recovering from a respiratory infection. Might be a good time to get started on Christmas cards since I can't go shopping! Thanks for the nudge.

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MaryJo November 16, 2010 at 3:33 am

Oh, you get a pass from all holiday hooplah when you are sick! Thanks for comments! I'm hard at work on my Christmas decorating presentation for MOPS this Friday. Hope you can make it!

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