Being Pleasantly Prepared During the Holidays
Updated: Dec 18, 2022
For those who are basting the bird or roasting the beast, you’re still faced with decor, shopping, cards (giving and receiving), caroling and consuming...lots and lots of consuming. But neither your waistline nor patience needs to suffer.
In our home we opt to forgo shopping on the Friday through Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend and instead decorate the house. Thanksgiving is done and I see no reason to leave the house after making the trek to dinner the day before.
Homebound for a few days is a healthy option. Additionally, rivalry college football games are blasting. Odds are someone in the house will be watching a game or two. Tuning in for a football game, while pulling boxes out of the attic during commercials, is a perfect way to multi-task.
A tree can wait, but at least all the other stuff is out and ready to go. It's a great opportunity to savor a four-day weekend while noshing on leftovers and maybe using that turkey carcass to make some soup. While others are in a shopping frenzy, you can embrace the spirit of the Holidays by taking it easy, and checking a box or two on your to-do list.
Our tree lives in the attic. We recently acquired a self-lit tree and I can't even begin to tell you what a blessing that turned out to be. So many steps in tree decorating are simultaneously checked off. It's become a real life saver.
If you opt to get a fresh one, consider going out mid-week on your way home from work. The lines are shorter, and options are greater. If you work from home, get out of the house and grab one during your lunch break.
I’m a huge advocate to get as much done during the week as possible. Putting a load of clothes in the wash before I race out the door to work, then drying a load upon my return ensures one less load I’ll have to do on the weekend. The same can be said for getting a handle on the Holidays.
Wasting my weekend driving around with everyone else running errands on their day off just adds to the stress of getting things done. If you can take your lunch hour to grocery shop, get gas, take your child’s instrument to be tuned, or address one or two of those other items on your list, you are (literally) miles ahead of waiting for the weekend.
If you haven’t already embraced the convenience of online shopping and delivery, now is it time to do so. The time saved parking, looking for a parking space (think Costco), waiting in line, and keeping sane with all the crowds has its benefits. By decorating while everyone else is shopping, and shopping at the convenience of your fingertips, your Christmas list can be readied and so can you. It’s a great way to find your Christmas Spirit AND keep it alive.
Having a decorated home and a few presents purchased, you can turn on Charlie Brown Christmas (or another seasonal flick) and wrap some presents. Whether you are folding paper, tying ribbon or bagging your gifts, take a little time to relax while you begin the process of filling that space between your tree and the floor.
I have a pre-decorated box filled with tape, tags, scissors, pens, ribbons and bows. It's placed under the tree, along with another pretty box that holds bags and tissue paper. The wrapping paper is always stashed under the couch. This way, everything necessary to wrap a present is easily accessible and ready to go. No need to gather all the stuff, haul it out to the living room, and THEN begin the ordeal of wrapping.
For those who go all Martha Stewart and have a “Wrapping Room” or chose to wrap in the drafty basement, where’s the fun in that? Sounds like torture to me. Why would you want to remove yourself from all the fun and lock yourself in some dungeon-like work area all alone? Stay where the fun and décor for the season reside. When there are already a few decorated boxes under the tree, stashed with all the fixings to wrap a present, you can encase and bag those presents whenever the feeling arises.
Kids can help too. It's never too early to show them how to wrap a basic box or make a bow. They can also address the tags. Not only is this a great opportunity to remind them that giving to others is important, with all the texting and keyboarding they do, a little printing on a tag can greatly assist with their handwriting capabilities.
On an evening that you don't shop you can take advantage of a nice fire, a glass of wine and addressing Holiday Cards. Whether you mail them via USPS or email, having the card, addresses and stamps (or a second set of eyes for editing) will give you the opportunity to reach out to those who you don't always see, but want to wish well during this season.
While many adore this time of year, an equal amount despise the chaos and pressure that the Holidays bring. If you feel the need for a little direction, I’m glad you were able to begin here so you can set the mood for the weeks ahead.
Real quick, let’s recap:
Decorate sooner than later
Shop online (cyber Monday, Small businesses and many other options are available and at your fingertips
Multi-task by enjoying a Christmas movie or football game WHILE you decorate
Get stuff done mid-week and mid-day. No need to wait for the weekend like everyone else
Cards pair perfectly with wine
Children LOVE to help. Let them. Encourage them. Stop worrying that it might not be perfect if little hands get involved. I mean, who cares? Seriously.