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Archive for Christmas

Preparing for the Holidays

Here are some tips for holiday planning to make a H A P P Y month.

Holiday Decorating

You maybe feeling overwhelmed or disorganized by the quantity of items on display in your house.  Try putting the non-seasonal items away to reduce the number of items on display.

Keep decorations simple

Decorate with flowers

Think about decorating with fewer items but larger size items.  This means there are fewer items to pack and unpack which will reduces the amount of time you need to prepare your home.

Take advantage of using linens to cover tables or end table and pillows to decorate couches.  They may be less bulky to store and cover a larger area making your home seem completely decorated while taking less time to get the job done.

Use items that self destruct so you don’t need to pack them away, flowers, paper towels, tissue boxes all give your house a festival spirit but don’t need to be packed away and stored.

When you go through your decorations part with the ones you know longer need early in the month so thrift store have an opportunity to sell them and so they don’t need to store them until next year.  Some stores don’t take holiday décor in January and then you will be stuck storing them for another year.

 Accept Help

Acknowledge that you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed and when people offer to do things say yes.  We all love to help people so let people feel good about themselves by allowing them to help you.

If people volunteer to bring food to a party accept gratefully.  Allow people to help clean up dishes on their way out the door.  In fact be ready for it.  Have a place to put cutlery to soak.  Have out a container for compost.  Put glasses or coffee mugs directly into the dishwasher.

Planning is important

Divide Your To Do List into Categories

Use a to do list. Divide your to do list into to pick up, to e-mail, to call, to buy then you can plan your day and route to get things done and not be driving back and forth all over town.  The trick here is to actually look at the list and use it not just make it.

Keep your plans from year to year, record your menu, grocery list quantities, time lines.  Each year you can reuse, revise and update the plan

 People and relationships are the reason for the season

Some people like to send cards in December.  I keep my cards and addresses and stamps all together.  When I am going somewhere where I will be waiting I pick up the supplies and take them along and write my cards.  I have done it at hockey rinks, doctor’s offices, bus stations and on car trips.  I usually leave replies to someone who has sent me a longer letter until January.

Use your spare moments to write cards

If you want to automate the card sending operation there is a company called send out cards.

Gift giving maybe an area where you are developing a system. Have you thought about Clutter free gift giving?

Consider the idea of a gift that self destructs.  See my post on Clutter Free Gift Giving

Yes You Can

Yes you can 

Being organized is more about an attitude then how something looks.  It is not about having the perfect home, party or gift it is doing the best you can with   the time and resources that you have. The only way to get better at organizing is to practice. It is a skill that can be learned and with practice it becomes easier and     easier.

What is the Most Stressful Part of the Holiday Season for you?

During the holiday season expectations are raised.  The food needs to be perfect, the gift needs to be thoughtfully purchased, the house needs to be tastefully decorated, and everyone needs to be happy all the time.  Record your expectations for season.  Everything you can think of.  Look through your list and decide on a plan that makes each expectation manageable for you.  If your expectations align with practicality this holiday will be less stressful and more fun.

Planning Food Could you:

Make a simple Holiday meal.

Make a simple Holiday meal.

  1. Cook ahead of time and freeze the food
  2. Plan a potluck with everyone contributing
  3. Buy your holiday baking
  4. Simplify your menu, prepare fewer items

 

Gift Giving Could you:

  1. Reduce the number of people you buy for
  2. Draw names so everyone gets one gift
  3. Set a price limit on the value of the gift
  4. Plan an experience instead of buying a gift: go to a play, go out for dinner, and go to a movie

Decorating Could you:

Plant a bulb and watch it grow

Use flowers to decorate.

  1. Put out fewer items
  2. Use larger items to make the space look decorated instead of using  lots of small items
  3. Decorate with flowers; you don’t have to pack them away when the season is over

 

 

 

 

Be Happy Could you:

Spend time together doing things you enjoy

Spend time together doing things you enjoy

  1. Plan your schedule so you don’t get over tired
  2. Plan down time so each member of the group can spend time alone
  3. Plan things you like to do, not have to do
  4. Plan to exercise and get fresh air

Can you learn to ask for help and accept help?

Do You have a Bucket List for the Holiday Season?

I have never been a person to make a bucket list.  Mostly because I feel I don’t have anything to put in it, the bucket.

Enjoy a walk and view Niagara Falls, dress warmly

Enjoy a walk and view Niagara Falls, dress warmly

However during December I sometimes get depressed.  It is mostly because of the lack of light.  It is also because there is a lot of expectation leading up to December 25th and then it is all over.  Some times it went well and some years it didn’t go very smoothly.  This can lead to dreading the holiday season and having your spirits drop.  So over the years I have been incorporating many fun events through the month of December so there is less emphasis on one day.  So this year I am making a bucket list.

Listen to choirs at the Niagara on the Lake candle light walk

Listen to choirs at the Niagara on the Lake candle light walk

  1. go to a holiday  concert
  2. go to a candle light walk sponsored by a town
  3. go to a mall and don’t shop just enjoy people watching and the decorations
  4. go on a tour of outdoor skating rinks
  5. go tobogganing
  6. have the neighbours over for an open house evening
  7. go to a dinner theatre
  8. walk around your neighbourhood and enjoy the holiday  lights every night
  9. play holiday music
  10. participate in a gift giving program, help the less fortunate
  11. watch the world junior hockey tournament on  television

    Visit your local dinner theatre like Oh Canada Eh!

    Visit your local dinner theatre like Oh Canada Eh!

  12. buy a poinsettia from a fund raising group
  13. grow an amaryllis plant
  14. buy an advent calendar for yourself
  15. visit Niagara Falls in the winter – cold but amazing

Let me know what would be on your bucket list.

Plant a bulb and watch it grow

Plant a bulb and watch it grow

 

Residential Organizing Services for the Region of Niagara, Hamilton, Halton-Peel and Surrounding Area