It’s back! December is here! The holidays are often met with mixed feelings. Joy, excitement, anticipation, stress and expectations all play a part. While constantly thinking of other people, during this month of gratitude and giving, it is easy to lose sight of ourselves.
To stay healthy and not get burned out, try to keep things in perspective. Take a moment to really identify what this time means to you. What holiday traditions are important to YOU and your immediate family? What are you obligated to do and what are your main obstacles?
Assess your situation and be realistic about your commitments. Bottom line, don’t over commit yourself. Politely decline anything you truly do not want to be a part of. Holidays are sure to stir up emotions, but if you remind yourself about what’s important to you and stay true to yourself, you’ll be sure to get the most out of the holiday season.
Naturally, as an organizer, I LOVE lists! Lists are crucial to help me stay on task and keep things from overcrowding my brain at night when I’m trying to unwind. Stay organized this season by making a few lists. Tons of free, printable lists are available on sites like Pinetrest. Utilize these free offerings! You can also print out a December calendar page and keep a month-at- a-glance sheet for easy visibility of the whole month. To keep all Holiday lists together use a binder or designate one space to keep things together. Here are a few examples of lists I use to keep track of my TO-DO's and DONES!
List #1- Events you will be attending and guests you will be hosting. Include travel plans, school performances, visiting relatives and holiday parties & gatherings.
List #2 - Gifts. Write down all the people you will be buying for (or already have gifts for-then you can check them off and feel productive!) and the dates you will be seeing them. If you need to ship their gifts, have them all ready to go and make one trip to the post office and get them all off at once. Don't forget teachers, house cleaners, babysitters, toutors & hair stylists that are a regular part of your family's life. Count up the total number of gifts you need to buy and check off as you go.
List #3 - Keep everything you need access to (from decorations to gift wrapping) stored in the same, convenient area. Spend a few dollars to buy containers that close well and hold items better. Keep all gifts and wrapping in one place (some hidden of course!) including gift tags, tape, scissors etc.
List #4 - Ways you can give back to your community. Think of ways to give to those in need. Lead by example and educate your children about the realities of the communities we live in. Encourage them to give their time helping someone in need or donate their outgrown toys or clothes. This is sure to give them a sense of gratitude and appreciation for all they possess. You may be surprised by their reaction.
This year, vow to take care of you. If you are a busy parent keep it simple and make thoughtful choices about how to spend your time and money. Be present and give where it’s really needed. That is the BEST gift you can give yourself.
Have a beautiful month and give yourself a pat on the back for another great year in this often trying world of being a spouse, parent, child, friend and woman of the world!