Monday, December 3, 2012

Seven Steps to Squelch Holiday Stress

Whew! I just finished my December calendar and planning...I have one night open in December...Wow! There is so much going on this time of year! I love it, but it can be very easy to get frustrated in all of the holly jolly if you don't plan ahead. I'm sure you have a few Christmas parties to hit, Christmas programs to see, a church Christmas program, and then of course, family to visit and gather with. My December is full of all of these things, and I want to enjoy them! In order to avoid stress throughout the Christmas season, I plan out everything before it starts. In order to help you, I've compiled a list of steps to reduce Christmas stress.

Seven Steps to Squelch the Stress:

1) Write every event down on your calendar. 

My husband gave me a Shutterfly calendar last year for Valentine's Day, and I write every event that I know of down on it and plan from there. Once you can visualize your days, breaking them down into manageable tasks becomes more simple. 

2) Make a list of all the baking you need to do for the whole month.

Include parties, home movie nights, meals, food gifts, and of course any family gathering food items you will have to make. 

3) Make a list of grocery items you need to buy. 

I normally don't buy everything at once because of my couponing cycles, but trust me, you do not want to run to the grocery store every other day for something you forgot last time. Meticulously make out a list of everything you will need to use for the month of December.

4) Shop for groceries.

Ok, yes this is simple and connected, but going to the store and buying everything on your grocery list is a different chore. Plan a time (probably longer than normal) to go get everything on your list. 

5) Tackle the gift list. 

Use a cute and functional printable to help you keep track of whom you need to buy for, what you bought, and how much it cost. Here's a few that I found helpful this year. Christmas gift plannerKids Gift PlannerMaster Gift List

6) Plan a Christmas Shopping Day (or two, or three).

The key is to set aside specific time to go down your gift list and purchase the items on it. If you have to visit several places, plan a few days and shop at stores close together instead of going all over town in the same day. This will save you time. 

7) Plan individual calendar days.

Leave time for special Christmas events. Schedule a night to decorate the tree. A day or night to wrap presents. A family Christmas movie night. Write these things down and SCHEDULE TIME for the things you need to do. Schedule when  you need to bake something. For example, I want to take some baked goods to my nursery worker crew. So, I put on my calender when I need to bake those items. This keeps me from forgetting my plans and prevents me from last-minute rushes. 

December has plenty of deadlines, but carefully preparing and planning will help you meet those deadline with ease. Stay organized so that you can beat the Christmas chaos and have time for the important things! 

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