It Is Never Too Early to Start Planning
Spread holiday party preparation out. For example, buy your party supplies and decorations now, instead of waiting until the last minute to make purchases!
- Turn the TV off and the holiday music on – you’ll be surprised how much more you will get done. Plus, you won’t have the added stress of comparing what you are doing to what the “perfect families” are doing on TV.
- Keep your holiday address list on your computer so you can print out address labels. Many fonts are decorative and you will save significant time versus addressing each one.
- Make lists during your wait times. When waiting in line at the grocery or while working on the treadmill, make lists of everything. People on your gift list, dinner menus, decorations to buy, etc.
- Make your most stressful holiday events a celebration in and of themselves. If you hate to decorate a tree, make it family fun tree night. Proclaim dinner to be elf pizza (easy to order and it’s what the elves do) so you don’t have to cook. Pop popcorn, simmer some yummy pot pourri, pump up the Christmas carols and start a tradition. Give everyone old and young a task. The family will look forward to it each year. Add new ornaments every year, giving each family member a new one to hang.
- Make Sunday afternoon, or any other day of the week, baking day. Have fun baking with family and friends. Host a cookie exchange to increase the variety of cookies during the season.
- Plan your holiday travel plans now. If you plan to fly over the holidays, book the earliest flights in the morning so you’ll be less likely to experience a delay. If possible, avoid connections.
- Plan and purchase a few holiday outfits to wear through the season for all types of parties – office holiday parties, neighbors’ open houses, New Year’s Eve parties, and cookie exchanges. Don’t wait until the last minute to shop for a new outfit!
- Don’t overeat during the holidays with the promise you will lose weight starting in January. Set a weight goal for January 1, and stick with it. Enjoy all the holiday food in smaller helpings.
Try Something New
Start a new tradition for each holiday each year. Family members love the traditional aspect of holiday celebrations. Each year add to your own traditions by trying something new.
- For Thanksgiving, make it a pre-dinner tradition to tell each family member or guest at the table one thing about them that makes them special.
- For Christmas, have each individual select a figure from the nativity scene.Then, one-by-one, tell the story of Jesus’ birth from the figure’s eye. Include animals, angels, shepherds, the wise men and their unique point-of-view. This is a wonderful activity for children of all ages!
- Prepare a birthday cake for baby Jesus and sing happy birthday on Christmas day.
- For Hanukkah, ask the youngest and the oldest to tell the family the meaning behind the celebration and the importance of each element. Enjoy the differing views.
- For New Year’s Eve, create a box of wishes for the New Year and select a wish each week throughout the year. A wish for a family movie night, for a day without arguing, a parents’ night out, a picnic visit to a nearby park—be creative!
Treat Your Family Like Company
Don’t save the best china, outfits, and decorations for guests. Treat the ones you are closest to and love the most to a holiday filled with the best!
Make It the “Year of Decorations” and Go All Out!
Even the tightest budgets can decorate using inexpensive items such as construction paper and Christmas balloons. Set your children or friends to making paper chains in red and green or blue and white. Decorate your with lovely paper and plastic tableware and a festive, gold cone tree centerpiece to let your family and friends know you think they are special (and no one has to wash the dishes!).
Don’t Forget the Special Favor or Memento
Providing family and friends with a treasured memento, such as a snowflake gel candle or personalized bath salts, will be appreciated as much as any large and costly gift you might give. Whether big or small, give your guests something to take home to remember the time you spent together over the holiday.
Keep Your Camera Ready!
Make sure your camera’s batteries are charged and ready to go. Keep spare “AA’s” in your camera case for emergencies. Leave your camera in an easy-to-get-to place for taking those spontaneous pictures of children baking cookies and playing in the snow. There is no such thing as too many photos or priceless memories!