There are a little over two weeks until Christmas arrives. Try not to start hyperventilating like I did yesterday when I realized how close it is. Every year I tell myself I am going to be super organized when it comes to buying presents, decorating, baking, and everything else that comes with this season. And every year right about this time I’m still trying to get my act together. If you’re like me you’re probably wondering how you can get everything done in these last few days, while still getting all of your normal tasks completed. Don’t worry, it is possible to get everything done, go about your daily life, as well as enjoy a little bit of the holiday season. Here are a few tips to help keep you holly and jolly this year.
And check them twice. Seriously though, make lists for everything. Presents you have to buy, parties you’re going to, cookies you have to bake, if it needs to get done before Christmas put it on a list. If you try to keep everything in a mental list, trust me you are going to forget something. I like having one master list of everything and then smaller lists of specific things like gifts/cookies/parties/etc. This is the age of the smartphone and tablets, so it is really easy to have your lists right at hand. Or maybe you’re like me and you like having a good old fashioned hand-written list. Either way having a visual representation of what you need to get done will help, plus it feels really satisfying to cross things off your list.
Set up a schedule
With about two weeks left you still have enough time to spread out all of your tasks. Go through your list and make a schedule of when you need to get things done. Maybe you can bake cookies a few days ahead of time and freeze them or you have a free Saturday that you can dedicate to wrapping all your gifts. Plan out the next few days and try to get a few things off your list done. Having a deadline that is well before Christmas will save you from running around like a crazy person On Christmas Eve. It doesn’t have to be a strict schedule that you have to stick to, just a general idea of when you want things done.
If you’re like me, you’re a little bit of a control freak. You like things done a specific way and at a specific time. The only way to get something done right and right away is to do it yourself. Believe me that attitude will not make your holiday season any easier. Learn to let a few things go and delegate jobs to others. You can’t possibly do every single thing on your list without going bonkers. Let friends and family help you and give some of your tasks to them. It will help ease your burden and it will let you enjoy Christmas. Plus it can be fun to have others help you and start new Christmas traditions.
Plan some fun
Yes your calendar is probably jam packed at this point, but try to make sure that not everything you have scheduled is work. It is easy to get wrapped up in all of the buying/gift-wrapping/baking/food-prepping that goes into this season and totally miss out on all of the fun things. Take a break from all of your work and go see a Christmas concert or movie, look at Christmas lights, go caroling, or build a fire, make some hot chocolate, and listen to a Christmas CD. Whatever is your favorite holiday activity, make sure you take some time to enjoy it. It helps to refocus your attention on all the fun and good of this holiday instead of becoming Scrooge who resents all the work.
I think the most important thing to remember is why we really celebrate this time of year. It isn’t all about the presents, the food, the shows, the concert, or the rush. It’s about our families and friends coming together to celebrate the gift that we were given all those years ago. It’s about spreading the cheer of this time of year to those who might not feel the Christmas spirit. It’s about being grateful for the immense amount of blessings that you have received this year and trying to pay it forward as best we can. Sure, parties and presents are fun and a part of the holiday, but they aren’t everything. Take a deep breath, turn on some Christmas music, and enjoy the most wonderful time of the year!