Organizing Christmas

by Debra Wyatt
(last updated December 28, 2012)

I start the Christmas season with a plan. This takes a little bit of time for the planning, but I find that I am hours ahead with a plan of action in hand. When I start planning ahead I find that I stay organized and my stress is cut dramatically. I am happier as well as those around me.

To get started, all I do is gather some paper, pencil, pen, and calendar. I put all this into a binder. It is all in one place so I will know where to find it later when I need it. I list on a sheet of paper everything that I can think of that needs attention. Here are some common stress areas that typically need my attention: decorating, mailing cards, parties, cleaning the house, parties to go to, parties to give, mailing presents, wrapping presents, and seeing Christmas lights.

As I look at my December calendar, I pick one area that I am most stressed about. I then pencil in the dates on the calendar, indicating what it is that needs to be done. I start by placing all my social activities on the calendar. This is the time to put down all invites to parties, dinners, and children's activities such as the school play. I write all this in pencil so that I can make adjustments easily.

If I have too many activities listed on one day, I look to see if they can be changed around or prioritized in some way. As an example, if the activities I have listed for one day include baking cookies, mailing presents, and attending a school program, I may want to change baking cookies to another day.

Looking at my list, the first thing that I wrote down on paper may have been Christmas gifts. I write down the person's name, gift idea, and how much I am willing to spend for the gift. I do this for all those I am buying for. Looking at my Christmas shopping list, I ask myself if it is something that will take one or two days of shopping. I try very hard to limit the amount of shopping at the mall to a single trip. This saves on impulse buying which can ruin my Christmas budget in a hurry.

I also put the shopping trips on the calendar as early in the season as I can. I try to not put so much shopping into the shopping day (or days) that when I get home I am too tired to wrap the gifts. Wrapping the gifts on the same day will take away the frustration on Christmas Eve.

Now I go through this same process with all the activities written on the calendar. This is the time that I have to look at my calendar and be objective, and not be afraid to take something off the calendar that will lead to being stressed. When the calendar is complete, I now have a plan of action and (amazingly) I am more organized and on my way to a happier, stress-free Christmas.

Author Bio

Debra Wyatt

Deb has a communications degree and applies her talents to her position as Marketing Specialist at Sharon Parq Associates. In her spare time she spends time with her children and grandchildren and devotes time to her church. ...

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