December is often filled with excitement and tradition—the aroma of pie emanating from the kitchen and the warmth of family. Yet, sometimes you can get through the whole month and wonder where the holiday went.
It’s easy to get caught up in holiday parties, school concerts, classroom treat days, and busy family traditions. All of these events are important during this time of year, but sometimes the stress of orchestrating the chaos interferes with the beauty of it all.
The biggest contributor to stress is inadequate preparation. Here are five tips to help you simplify your December and reclaim the peace of the season.
- Organize Your Holiday Gift List
Simplify your gift giving by keeping a list in your planner or on a spreadsheet. List the names of your family members, the gifts they want, where you want to buy them, how much they cost, and keep a running total on your budget. Then, when you find a great deal in the holiday ads, you’ll be prepared to act on it.
- Track Your Family Events
As your kids bring their school schedules home, mark their events on your calendar with different colors for each child. Putting events up ahead of time can help you minimize scheduling conflicts. Meet as a family often throughout the busy season to make sure you have everything scheduled in your planner with time allotted for preparation and travel.
- Make Room For Traditions
With all the holiday fun going on outside your home, make sure to make time for your own family’s holiday traditions. Whether it’s decorating the house, reading by candlelight, baking pies, dipping chocolate, or watching your family’s favorite holiday movie—don’t let the holiday rush crowd out the small, quiet events that become the traditions your children remember most.
- Prepare For House Guests
If you’re planning on having family or friends visit for the holidays, you will want to present a clean and organized home. If you have any organization projects that you’ve been putting off, it’s better to tackle them well before your guests arrive. You’ll be dealing with travel schedules and other logistics—the last thing you’ll want to do when they get there is to have to move boxes and projects out of the guest bedroom.
- Schedule Down Time
As you’re planning your holiday events, be sure to schedule some down time. It’s a busy season. If you aren’t mindful, a series of celebrations can feel like a set of errands. Schedule plenty of free time so you’ll have a moment to regroup between events.