My name is Nerina and I am a list maker.
As a compulsive A type personality, there have been times when my lists have simply consisted of wake-up, shower, dry hair, all for the satisfaction of crossing items off and helping me feel immediately fulfilled.
This time of year gives me legitimate reason to make several lists and in turn bringing me copious amounts of happiness. I thought that I would share with you my list of 10 ways to help your holiday season be filled with less stress and more merry.
1. Projects. Make a list of household pick me ups that would make you happy if they were done before the holidays. I know that I would love to paint my powder room, now would be a great time to do so and not on December 22nd when I will have a ton of other things to fill my day. Will I be fine that it is not done, will this cause me grief and unhappiness, hence the list, do it now and save the headache.
2. Outdoor. Check the outdoor decorations, sometimes in our haste to put away the season, we just throw everything in a box, now would be the time to check the lights, broken decorations, old weather beaten and tired décor could be sending you to the 50% off racks before the rush.
3. Events. Make a list of all holiday functions and the logistics/items that require your attention for each. If for example you are attending a company function, will you require child care, are you to bring a gift, what will you be wearing, do you need accessories. Are you fortunate enough that you have conflicting events, what are your contingency plans. I love to have all of these things brought to my attention in advance. Preparation is the thief of grief.
4. Gift Giving. Decide upon your holiday gift giving recipients, whether it be gifts for friends and family or donations that you are generously providing to those in need. List the name and the already purchased or anticipated gift for each. Cross off (lucky you) those that you have taken care of and highlight those that remain. Carry this with you always, you never know when you will have a spare moment to pick up something.
5. Mail Greetings. Make a list of all greeting card recipients and purchase cards. Take the time to write a couple each night while you enjoy your favorite show. Maybe during the commercial so you do not miss all the action, Poof, done before you know it and ready to mail, taken care of long before the postal cut-off.
6. Tidy Up. Declutter your home and sprinkle with holiday goodness. We all love the special feeling that comes when our homes are decked out in festive finery. Pull out the boxes, decide on this year’s theme and where all of the special treasures will be displayed. Play around with placement and enjoy the experience of sharing the holiday merriment with those you love.
7. Baking. What are your plans Martha, are you a big box treat shopper, do you wait until the last minute or are you the baker? Baker it is, decide what will be your show stoppers this year. What ingredients are needed, what time will be required and put aside to bake this cornucopia of sugar laden goodness and get to it. Package, freeze, deliver, enjoy.
8. Caring for Others. Make sure that you schedule time to visit those that are not able to leave their homes, older relatives or friends of the family that will be spending this time of year alone. Take them a bit of holiday cheer and make this time special for them.
9. Involve your kids. Make sure the kids have taken part in the baking, decorating as well as creating special handmade gifts for teachers, friends and family. The greatest gift that we can impart to our children is the gift of generosity without expectation. They will carry this with them for life and hopefully be more fulfilled from the experience.
10. Invite Friends. Now that you have taken care of all of the holiday fussiness ahead of the game, you will have excess time to entertain those that mean the most to you. Make arrangements to have friends and family over and enjoy the season, all decked out and serving your hand baked goodies in total serenity.
Do you have any special do ahead tips that you would like to share with me?