3 Tips for a Stress-free Holiday

keep-calm-and-give-thanks-35This Thanksgiving, I’m doing something a little different. I’m not cooking. My husband and I are still hosting this year’s “gratitude feast” at our home. There will be ten at our table and I’ve asked each person to bring an assigned dish. Instead of making a turkey, one of our friends inspired me when he said he was hankering for a smoked turkey. Having no inclination to smoke a turkey myself, I am having a popular BBQ shop smoke our turkey for us. I am making a few traditional favorites and we’re supplying the libations but other than setting the table, I’m feeling pretty relaxed.   Knowing that I don’t have to dedicate an entire day to cooking and then cleaning afterwards makes me feel like I’ve just kicked off a pair of tight shoes. The lesson in this for all of you is that preparing for the Holidays need not be an ordeal. Here are 3 other tips for having a stress-free Holiday Season.

  1. Delegate: Hosting the big holiday meal doesn’t have to mean stressing and missing out on all the festivities, even if that includes all the drama of your family.  Why not finally take up the offer you’ve heard your guests ask time and time again, “What can I do to help?”  Ask your friends to bring something to share or help with set up or clean up. Why shouldn’t you be able to have your smoked Turkey and eat it too?
  2. Do a clutter-check: Have you seen the commercial where the mother uses a leaf blower to blow all her household clutter into a back room?  Funny and probably not a bad idea, during the holidays.  Scan your kitchen, dining and living areas for clutter you would be uncomfortable having on display when guests arrive. Instead of sorting through it all now, plan on tackling it early next year. Did you know January is the official Get Organized Month?  Check back on our website for our special Get Organized savings in January.  For now, simply toss all those loose papers in a box and hide those extraneous items in a room or closet your guests don’t see. Then make it a New Year’s resolution to Get Organized in 2015 and add it to your to-do list!
  3. Create an action list.  Feel like you have a jumble of to-dos in your head that are adding to your Holiday jitters? Sit down for 5-10 minutes and write down everything you think you need to do between now and December 31st.  Include your one-time tasks such as pay bills and order Thanksgiving Turkey as well as bigger projects you have planned such as buy a new car or do Christmas Shopping. Then assign an A, B, or C priority to each item. A items are both important and time-sensitive, B items are important but could wait and C items are time-sensitive but not important to you (though they may be important to someone else). Don’t do any of the B’s or C’s before you do any of your A’s. If you get stuck, just ask yourself, “Is this really worth my time?”

Happy Thanksgiving!

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