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  • Writer's picturejondab

Getting Organized for the Holidays

I love the winter holidays. They can lift the spirits during the dark times of the year. Because so much happens in a few months this time can also be overwhelming. I have found that to truly enjoy the holidays, I start now and plan my time carefully.

First, I list all that I plan to do. For example, this year for Thanksgiving, I will prepare an abbreviated feast at my home for my husband, my adult son, and myself the Thursday before Thanksgiving. And then Rob and I will travel to Pawley’s Island to meet up with his sons and have a modified Thanksgiving there on Thanksgiving Day. This will require some extra scheduled time for shopping and meal preparation.

Then I look at Christmas plans. Due to COVID-19 things are different. I need to decide what I am going to do this year and what I am going to skip.

In past years I have given a holiday party in December. Well, that’s not happening this year. Also, in previous years we have planned on attending holiday programs at theaters and church. That also will not happen. However, we can safely plan on a trip to the Botanical Gardens to see the lights. We need to choose our date now and secure our tickets as they are extremely limited.

I have always sent out holiday cards and I intend to again this year. Receiving a card in the mail is uplifting to the spirit and this is certainly the year to keep in touch. As I want to include individual notes, I will schedule multiple times to work on the cards. If I keep all my supplies in one basket, I can get it out and work for an hour then put everything away until the next scheduled time slot.

I have a few gifts to buy that will need mailing as well as some for my family here. I will need to schedule time to shop, wrap, and mail presents. We like to keep gift giving to a minimum but there will some items and this takes time.

I also plan on doing some special holiday baking. I have friends and family who look forward to cookies, fudge, and pies that I bake. Some of these can be delivered to homes and some will be mailed. I will schedule early baking the items that need mailing soon. This will also mean scheduling the time to look up the recipes, shopping for the ingredients, and boxing up and getting to the post office.

And I love to decorate my home. Even without giving a party I want my home festive for us and anyone who might drop by. This means scheduling time to bring down the decorations from the attic, buying the fresh tree and greenery, putting up and decorating the tree and the areas outside, and any other decorating within the house.

New Year will be a quiet celebration with just the two of us this year, but we will still want something special to eat. This will only take a little extra shopping and preparing. And on New Year day I want to schedule to take down the tree.

This is a lot of extra projects to handle on top of our regular day-to-day living. The trick to keep from becoming overwhelmed by it all is to chunk down the tasks into manageable blocks of time and schedule every task on the calendar.

Pull out those calendars now and schedule the tasks you want to do this holiday season. If it seems overwhelming to you, figure out what you are willing to skip. Do schedule in times to enjoy the fruits of your labors!

Happy Holidays!

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