It’s that time of year again to create a plan for celebrating the holiday season. You will likely find it challenging to decide on your priorities over the next few weeks, and I hope this post will help. I will share more holiday organizing tips over the next few weeks, so please stay tuned.
As usual, I preach simplification to you all. I know you’re tired of hearing about it but trust me, it will make your life easier over the coming weeks and right into the New Year. Some people spend so much time preparing and planning they never get a chance to celebrate. Let go of perfectionism and enjoy the holidays.
Set Your Goal for the Holiday Season
Let’s decide on our goal for this holiday season, shall we? What is most important to you over the holidays? Perhaps you wish to spend less time rushing around and stressing out and more time enjoying the company of family and friends. Think about how you might achieve that goal. What can you do differently than you did last year? You could decide to simplify your gift-giving or spend less time searching for the perfect gift. Goals are different for everyone. For example, some people love to spend their time going from one party to another. Their plan for celebrating the holiday season is to be around as many people as possible. Other people are the exact opposite. Their goal is to spend quality time with a select few, relaxing, reflecting, and rejuvenating.
Choose How You Want to Celebrate the Holidays
Here are a few of the different ways to spend your time over the holidays. Share your plan now so that your family and friends will know what to expect well in advance, especially if you are doing things differently from previous years.
Leave Town to Stay with Family or Friends
Staying with family or friends requires some organization, depending on how far you’re going and who you stay with. If you buy gifts for hosts, either buy them small enough to fit in your suitcase or ship them before your arrival. You’re probably not expected to bring food. But your famous homemade cookies are easy to pack, and you can buy groceries during your stay. If you’re driving, you just have to gas up the car, and you’re off. If planes or trains are involved, it’s a bit more work to organize all of that. And depending on how long you’re staying, you may be able to avoid the whole decorating and tree-trimming activity. Unless, of course, you love it, in which case an artificial tree may serve you well.
Take a Holiday Vacation
Every year I know at least someone who has decided to simply leave town for a couple of weeks over the holidays. For some reason, I always wish that was me. I so admire that they can drop all their holiday obligations and take off for a faraway land. If you consider the trip as your gift, then your shopping is done. You could always play the “we’ve spent all of our money on this dream trip” card and not give anyone else a gift unless that’s a little too ‘Grinch-like’ for you. Imagine! No decorating, no shopping, no cooking.
For some, the idea of spending the holidays away from home might sound absolutely awful. But other people might feel this is a dream vacation. To celebrate the holiday season this way, you simply need to book the flights and hotels and maybe pick out a few things you’ll want to do. I think perhaps a trip to New York would be fun. Not too far away, but far enough. I would love to go to Macy’s to see Santa since Miracle on 34th Street is my absolute favourite Christmas movie!
Stay Home and Hide
If you’re a super busy person, your plan for celebrating the holiday season might be staying home and doing nothing. Give everyone gift cards and eliminate the stress of shopping for the perfect gift. Buy treats at your local bakery instead of spending time baking cookies and squares. Order Christmas dinner from a caterer or go out to eat on Christmas Day. You could even hire someone to decorate your house and sit back and relax.
Go All Out!
The people who like to go “all out” for the holidays are pretty darn organized. If you are one of them, you could teach others a thing or two about creating a plan for celebrating the holiday season. You are the type of person who values planning in advance, making lists, and so on. If you love the holiday season and think about it all year round, then going “all out” likely makes you very happy. Just ensure you have time available, so it doesn’t become too stressful. If you decide that going all out is just too much, eliminate as much as possible until it feels manageable.
Decide What is Most Important for You and Your Family
Choose what activities are important to you and your family this holiday season. Once you do that, stick to your plan. Then, you should find it fairly easy to decide what to do and what not to do. Talk to your family and find out what they really want – you might be surprised by the answers you get. You will then be able to say ‘yes’ to some things and ‘no’ to others, knowing that everyone wants to achieve the same thing.
Now, take a deep breath, relax, and embark upon your holiday project with a sense of exactly where you want to be by the end of it all.