Tuesday, November 29, 2011

How to keep the holiday crazy away ...

I would tell you, start as soon as possible. August, lists should be made. September should be used to piggyback back to school purchases and easy presents. October should be used for prodding parents of any residual nephews and nieces that have not been purchased for if that is how your family works and November should be spent on hostess gifts and forcing your child to prioritize his list for Santa. If you're feeling over-achievery, aim to complete writing your holiday cards by the end of Thanksgiving weekend.

This allows one to really get her "ho ho ho" on, smile at all things tinsel and shiny. It prevents complete and total annoyance at holiday commercials on t.v. It makes thinking about holiday recipes ... fun! Best of all, it prevents you from having to drop a load of cash in a short period of time. (Careful with the credit people!)

But seeing how it's already the piss end of November and I have not followed my usual method. (I didn't even send out holiday cards the past 2 years) I have to find another way to keep the holiday crazy away.

Someone tell me what you've got. Ha!

Okay well a smart person should have a contingency plan right? Or at least be prepared to make one on the fly.

So this is what I've got:
  • Go back to the list. I swear even if it seems overwhelming the amount that you have to do. Write it out, confront it. Reorder and prioritize it. 
  • Shop online. If you can support local businesses or small businesses (crafters & artists!) that's great. However if you're feeling constrained by time, do not rely on this unless you know specifically what you are going to get, for whom, from where.
  • Buy boxed cards and start writing/addressing them out. If you actually get off your holly jolly butt and take a photo and decide to share it with the world between work and family obligations and festivities you are a) my hero b) still with the option to have the prints inserted into pre-addressed cards. 
  • I find people prefer visuals of their friends and families and expect more of the written if they just receive a stock card. But most of all, people are happy you remembered them. (crap, I really need to send them out this year).
  • !! bonus point - from your pre-addressed card, make an excel list of addresses that become your "Holiday Card List". I have an old handwritten one (what? I'm a lazy beast!) that I've been using for years. Honestly, everyone in your address/contacts are not everyone you send family photos to right? 
  • Timing. If entertaining, make a general plan. In other words, put out a basic menu. Pick out the main entree and main side you know you are going to do. Figure out how long you're going to need to "clean". Are you volunteering for a school, work or church function? Are you going to need to take time off to clean, cook, volunteer? Determine it now, ask now. 
I could go on, but then I'm doing that "Ellen thing" and making things more complex when really we are trying to simplify. The above allows us to see what we have to do. Whether you block out time or you chip away at it, it can be done. You will have to prioritize, you will have to be honest. If you have a deadline at work that is going to keep you long hours until the 20th, perhaps you shouldn't have 25 people over for Xmas eve. especially if you cannot take any time off. Your nephew wants a lego set for $75 and has not listed anything else, give them a gift card with what your budget allows and let them put it towards that gift.

How do you support this plan, and lower the anxiety levels while doing so?

1) Let's face it. If you don't have any anxiety about a lot of crap getting done in a short amount of time, I worry you may be an amoeba. "Anxiety"is a close relative of "Drive". Use your powers for good.

2) Make sure you insert plenty of truly happy festive, selfish happy things in here. Me? Obviously I make sure I get my holiday knitting time in, I'm planning on some visits with friends I've been swearing I'll see before the year end. I'm going to bake a new pastry (theoretically) and try some new wintery recipes. The Kid and I are going to whip out the old holiday/Christmas books that he used to love and I'll read aloud just like when he was a tattertot. I'm going to pretend like there is mistletoe even when there is not.

Now get out there and start putting some jingle in your jangle.

No comments:

Post a Comment