Christmas can be the most stressful time of the year for many people with its seemingly endless things to do. The demands on time and money can be overwhelming.
Beginning with a three column list, (Meals/Events, Shopping, Spiritual Commitments) can minimize your pressure and assist you in the true enjoyment of this awesome season.
An initial plan can make a huge difference! Try it.
Writing down the dates of outside commitments is likely one of the easiest tasks. This would include special events at church, office or personal parties and special seasonal concerts/events. Once this is done the framework of your month begins to take shape. Add the dates of any Entertaining that you plan to do in your home.
If you will be preparing a special holiday dinner it is a good idea to write out the menu now. You will have time to change it, but beginning with a written plan can take stress off immediately. As you do your weekly shopping begin picking up non perishable items from the store.
This is a good time to start baking. Try making healthier choices this year like granola bars or cookies that use almond butter in place of butter.
Time for shopping has always been our most challenging task of Christmastime. Almost all of our family lives out-of-state so it is imperative that we get it done early, wrapped and mailed. With our Events/Entertaining planned, we know exactly what times we have available to get this portion of our responsibilities done. We do set deadlines which we rarely meet, but we do come close so everything arrives "in time" if not "on time" as stated on our task list.
Make a list. We can't stress this enough. Checking the items off gives you a pleasant little endorphin pop and helps reevaluate where you are in the process.
We add these to our list as we schedule Entertaining/Events so we are mindful of what this holiday season is about for us, which includes Midnight Mass. Our Christmas Eve guests always know that we leave our home at least by 11 p.m. They are most welcome to join us or to remain in our home after we have left. Some choose to come; others stay behind. We try to stay flexible for those who go to church earlier -- they may join us as they can afterward. It is lovely to have happy friends arriving as they can. Every year we contemplate the idea of hosting an "open house" instead of a formal(ish) dinner. And, every year we host a dinner and just make the food flexible for different arrival times.
We wish you a
Very Merry Christmas