Holidays Made Simple
When you were a kid, even a young adult, this time of year was full of wonder and joy. Yet, somehow, once you became an adult with work and family responsibilities, one of the most common conversation you’re likely to have this month begins with, “Are you ready?” Ready for what? For the decorating, the parties, the cards, the gifts, the meals, and all the extras of the holiday season… sure that’s a lot to manage, but shouldn’t it be joyful? Before you jump into it, take a minute to really reflect on the meaning of the season, and what you want your family’s experience to be. You don’t have to do it all, but for what you choose to do, here are some tips to do it easier.
- Plan the kids’ wardrobe. If you know you’ll have at least one holiday party, event or church service that your kids will need special clothes for, pick them out now and avoid any last minute trips to the mall during the busy shopping rush. Make sure those sparkly tights don’t have any holes, that the lace-up shoes still fit, and the fancy dress meets your pre-teen’s approval now so you won’t have to think about it later.
- Cooking for a big meal? Decide the day before what serving bowl or platter you’ll use for each dish, and leave them out marked with post-it notes. Then during the last minute scramble to get all the food out and to the table at the same time, all the guests clogging your kitchen offering to help can actually help.
- Pick one holiday cookie and make it your specialty – it’ll simplify shopping and baking, and you can build gift-giving and family baking traditions around it. Don’t stress about having to have a whole assortment of baked goods around – you’ll most likely receive other varieties from neighbors and guests.
- Send New Years' cards – the whole family can work on them together in the post-Christmas lull, and yours won’t get lost in the mailbox with a dozen others that all come December 22.
- And when it’s time to put all those decorations away for another year… Pack bins according to room (i.e. all the dining room decorations together) and label the outside of the bin so you won’t be overwhelmed next year when you take them out. Include any temporary hooks (I love the 3M removable hooks) or hanging supplies away with the wall decorations that need them, for easy installation next year.