Enjoy A Carefree Christmas

Christmas Planning made ease

Christmas Planning made ease

(BlackDoctor.org) — There’s got to be a better way for our family “she-roes” to do it all. Clean and decorate the house, take care of the kids, cook the meals … the list goes on and on. It can be done with style, grace and at a calm pace, but it requires dedication and strategy.

Rushing around at the last minute tends to upset the normal routine, which brings on the familiar pang of stress. The difference between a relaxing holiday season and chaos is to take time with everything you do. Slow and steady wins the race and the early bird catches the worm!

Plan in advance

Start early. Have your ideas in mind, determine your budget and begin shopping in small increments. That way you’re not stressing over cash flow and credit card bills. For next year, catch end-of-the-summer sales and early Christmas deals designed to attract the plan-ahead shopper.

Go electronic

For older family members and your tightest circle of friends, send handwritten cards. But if you connect with most people via e-mail—which most of us do—consider sending “Happy Holidays” greetings over the Internet. They’ll appreciate the thought just the same, and it’s environmentally friendly. Everyone wins!

Be easy on the shopping

Narrow down your gift list to just immediate family, an intimate group of friends or only the children in the family. You may feel bad for a moment, but get over it. We’re in a recession. They’ll understand that the love and affection of a calm, happy and financially sound individual is priceless.

Shop online and shop early. Avoid running from store to store. You can do your research and compare the best deals—right from the comfort of your own home.

Enlist help

Even Wonder Woman called on the Super Friends to get her out of a bind. Depend on family and friends who will share in the joy and splendor of a holiday meal. Before you delegate, create a menu and guest list and determine how much food you will need by the serving. Assign tasks, but don’t overwhelm your helpers. Keep it simple and suggest that dishes be brought over an hour or two earlier than when guests arrive to aid in organized preparation.

Take off

If you have children ages 15 or older, go on a Christmas vacation. Or suggest that someone else host a dinner for a change and you bring a side dish.

Get fly on a dime

Multiple holiday parties may have you shopping for two or three outfits just as the malls get crowded. Visit consignment shops or shop in your best friend’s closet. Have a tailor update older dresses with new buttons or a different hemline. Do the same for decorations. Invite friends over for hot cider (or a hot toddy) and enjoy an ornament-swap fest.

The overall idea is to simplify as much as possible. Get it done early and eliminate any extra, unnecessary work. You can do it … ‘Tis the season!