I have talked before about the importance of defining your vision for the holidays and then making plans to fit that vision.
How much is too much? What is really important to you? After developing your vision, and then brainstorming all you need to do to make your vision come true, actually placing those tasks on your calendar, makes it real.
I use a paper monthly calendar to get the whole picture. I color code the tasks. I use the categories of major events (black), traditional holiday rituals and chores (green) , baking or other food preparations (red), and the giving of a party(blue). . Remember that all of these tasks are on top of what you normally do. It can get pretty scary seeing so many of the blocks on the calendar get filled in.
Major events will include all parties, plays, church events, plays, concerts, etc. that you wish to attend.
Holiday rituals and chores will include time for sending out cards, buying gifts and wrapping them, mailing gifts,decorating your home, and hauling out the holiday CDs.
Food preparation will include finding recipes for, buying ingredients for, and actually preparing all special holiday baked items, special meals as well as dishes you take to events.
Giving a party will include making your guest list, sending out invitations, planning the menu, shopping, decorating, and extra cleaning.
Is this what you want? If it is too much for you, what can you let go? Decide this up front and have a family consensus. This will keep you from impulsively agreeing to doing too much.
The lovely thing about having it all down on the calendar, is that you don’t worry about when you can possibly get it all done – you have a plan for it.
Just be sure you allow some free time to enjoy the fruits of your labor and some extra “wiggle” time to allow for life’s unexpected events.
Jonda S. Beattie Professional Organizer