Ready or not- here it comes! Halloween is this weekend. Do you get the impression that it’s only a week before Christmas? Look at the ads in the paper, the commercials – walk any mall. Read in the paper in early October that visiting Santa Clause in Phipps Plaza is already sold out (at $15 a pop). Thanksgiving is marketed before Halloween. Christmas ads start in August. New Year’s Day champagne/party ads collide with Christmas carols. And Kwanzaa and Chanukah become more commercial every year, wedging their ads in between, over, and under the big 3 – Turkey Day, Santa Clause, and the crashing crystal ball over Times Square. The overlapping of marketing for the holidays would drive anyone mad. The holidays become a time of long “to do” lists, over commitment, overbuying, overeating, and sleep deprivation. How do we handle all that stress? I feel the first and most important step to diminish stress is to develop a vision of what we truly WANT for our holiday. What is your vision for the next few months? Imagine how your perfect season would look and feel. Write down your goals for the season. Now develop a list of what must happen to make that vision come true. Purge any commitments or rituals that do not support that vision. Then make the calendar your best friend. Write down every party, activity, or ritual on your calendar. Write down when you plan to shop, to decorate, to bake, to party, to send cards. Notice how full your calendar is. Is it doable for you? If not purge some more. Allow some time for unexpected events and some time to sit home and enjoy your decorated space. If you want even more detailed ideas, I have a presentation on Stress and the Holidays that I would love to present to your group.
Jonda S. Beattie Professional Organizer