Just my Thoughts

Holiday Planning and Holiday Plans

Have you ever thought of the holiday season that just began with Thanksgiving with disgust? I do every now and then. Usually, my disgust stems from a lack of planning. If I plan out my holidays – from gifts to wrapping time to shipping to baking, I love how the days flow and how I feel at the end of the holidays. If I forget to follow a plan or make my own, the holidays become one big mess of trying to get it all in.

The big mess can be complicated by children. When children are young, you have to worry about them allowing you time to do what needs to be done and, in many cases, how to allow them to be a part of the holiday prep as well as the holiday season itself. When the children are older, there comes the problem of fitting their activities – from school concerts to friends’ gatherings to pick ups from college – into the family holiday schedule.

So what’s an organized person to do? Find a plan, or make your own, and follow it.

First, a word about plans. The internet is full of great plans to help you get through the holiday season. You can also seem to find one on the cover of every women’s magazine at the check-out at the grocery. Plans that are developed by someone else are great but realize that your life is unique and the plan may need some tweaking. Any plan also needs to have some flexibility. If you are following a rigid plan, you may not enjoy your time or your holidays. Just keep in mind that you want flexibility and something that can be re-worked to fit your family and your holidays.

Second, ask friends what they do. Maybe you don’t need to look for a plan. Maybe you know a family that always seems to get everything done during the holiday season that you want to do. They work at a soup kitchen, bake cookies as a family, have the perfectly decorated tree. Ask how they get it all to work. If you don’t know anyone like that, don’t worry. Ask anyway. You may be surprised at what friends will tell you. They may have a plan but just still be working at getting it to seem “perfect” to the world.

Third, plans become habits. Do not think that you are going to have to stare at some plan for years to come. As you work a plan, the plan itself will evolve and take on a living, breathing existence. The plan will become a habit and you will do the items on it without thought. It may take a year or two through a plan for you to not have to think about it or write it on the family calendar but it will happen.

Whatever you decide to do, realize the holidays are for celebrating family, friends and whatever your beliefs may be. Enjoy the time you have with those you cherish and the holidays will be great.

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