September is here. It’s quite unbelievable to see autumn-like decorations and winter-y commercials because in Paris, Arkansas the daily highs still flirt with 100 degrees. I’m trying to focus on the frenzy of the end of the year. Ahem, Christmas is just around the corner, you know. (Don’t hit me, you might hurt your computer!)
There, I said it. The dreaded C-word. C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S. We can’t avoid it. We can’t slow it down. Have you been to a big craft/hobby store lately? Holiday decorations are taking over the square footage inch by inch, week by week. As said a moment ago, we can’t avoid it or slow it down so we may as well prepare for it, right?
So what the heck is all this prepare-for-Christmas talk doing on a massage blog anyway? Well, I’m all about stress relief and being prepared for inevitable chaos can help with that. At least I hope it helps mine!
How can we be more prepared? Take a few minutes and write down your obligations. The stuff you KNOW you’ll be doing no matter what. Start there. Expand from each list things you may need to purchase like paper plate, napkins, candles, classroom goodies. Start looking at dollar stores or holiday aisles and pick up things here and there so you aren’t paying for it all in one month.
Create a gift list. Write down all the names of people you will be buying trinkets for. If you’re feeling up to it start adding gift ideas next to the person. Wouldn’t it be great if you went Christmas shopping with the kind of detailed list you go grocery shopping with?! I know I’m not the first person with this idea but I’m sharing it anyway. It’s simple and helpful!
Save a little extra each week so you have the money for the little things that pop up unexpectedly in December. The impromptu friend-party, the kid’s team’s party thrown together at the last minute. Will you still be stressed at the last minute? Yes, but maybe you’ll have a little extra in your wallet to cover it.
Food, food, food. Holidays and food. One just wouldn’t be the same without the other. Start a dish list. How many places do you need a dish for potluck? Count’em. Do you want to make the same dish for each or different dishes? Decide now. Do you host everyone at your place? Start your basic menu now and tweak it closer to time. You could even start your ingredient shopping list!*
Maybe working on one or more of these lists will help you. Maybe it will just freak you out and cause you to run screaming away from your computer because I said the C-word. (Sorry) Will the hustle and bustle slow down because you’ve prepared lists? No. Will you still feel like locking yourself in your house and turning your phone off for 3 weeks? Probably. But having a plan can help with some of the last minute stress. The Oh-em-gee I don’t have any marshmallows the morning of the class party stress. The oh, snap! I forgot we exchange gifts at the office party stress.
Maybe it won’t be perfect, but at least you’ll have a plan 🙂
*And this is the post in which you discover that I’m a list person. I write lists. I love lists. Some days all I accomplish is the writing of the list!
Do you have any holiday stress reducing tips?