Today marks one week until Halloween. Can you believe that? 2013 has FLOWN by, as far as I’m concerned! As we draw closer to “the holidays”, I wanted to make sure that I take time to share with you my favorite “Holiday Sanity Savers”. Because, before you know it, you’ll need them! (And so will I!)
Sanity is highly-prized in our home, especially in the months of October, November and December. Why? Because that’s when I get REALLY busy…which means my hubby gets really busy, too.
You regular readers know that I work full time, but from October-December, I run a great sale with my part-time photography business, because lots of folks love getting family photos for their Christmas cards! So, between those three months, I have about 20 photo shoots booked (oh, and even a December wedding this year!), in addition to my full-time job…and the blogging…and the company coming for the holidays, and the Christmas production we are a part of at church…and the Christmas shopping…and the Christmas card mailing…and the Christmas decorating…and the Christmas baking…
Okay, NOW I’m tired.
Every year I try to perfect my strategy, so that our Christmas is not like our first Christmas together.
It’s funnier now than it was then, actually. It was 11:55 p.m. on Christmas Eve, and I was just getting started in the kitchen on the food for Christmas Day. I was exhausted already, so I wasn’t really enjoying the food prep.
My husband was in the living room, doing his best to set up a set of speakers for the TV that his parents had given to him earlier in the day. He was exhausted, too, and the setup wasn’t going well.
At exactly midnight, I thought, “OH! It’s Christmas now! Our first one together as a married couple! I’m gonna go wish him a Merry Christmas!
I walked into the living room.
Me: Hey baby, guess what?
Hubby: (In an exasperated tone) What?
Me: It’s Christmas!
Hubby: Uh huh.
Me: Exactly right now, it just turned Christmas! Our first one together! Merry Christmas!
Hubby: (Throws down the screwdriver) I can’t get this stupid thing to work with the dadgum TV!!!!!
I went back to the kitchen.
My point is, I LOVE the time of year that is fast-approaching, and I want to be able to enjoy it, even with all the craziness that goes on! I still want to have FUN!
So, here’s my plan for this year (modified from last year, that worked pretty well).
1. Plan ahead
We were literally planning Thanksgiving at the beginning of October. (Our Thanksgiving involves a bit of coordinating with family members and work and travel schedules, so we work it out as soon as possible. And when we’re all together on Thanksgiving, we’ll plan Christmas.) I have already been given my meal assignments for the day, too!
2. Use the same system
I keep a document of address labels on file that I use for Christmas cards every year. Each year I modify a bit, as we know more people than we do the year before, but then, with one click I can print it out, and it sure is easier than having to address all of our Christmas cards.
3. Keep inspiration fresh
I LOVE Pinterest for this! I have two boards in particular: Fabulous Fall and ‘Tis the Season. I pin on these all year round, but when it hits Fall, I go back and look at all the treasures, and I get excited all over again!
4. Become a calendar Nazi
I don’t care if you keep a calendar on a normal basis or not – keep one just for this. Everything from when we are getting our pics done to when I need to start on the baking is on the calendar. And I get it on there as soon as possible.
5. Shop online
I really hate the crowds who are out Christmas shopping. It’s no fun for me at all, and I normally get pretty frustrated. So, we start putting money aside for Christmas in June, and by Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving) I have gone through all my catalogs and searched for all kinds of gifts online, and have made my list and checked it twice. At the stroke of midnight, when it is officially Cyber Monday, I order all Christmas gifts within about 30 minutes. Then they come to my house on their own, and I wrap them as they come.
I don’t care what you’ve got going on, there ARE some things you can delegate. My hubby takes on the brunt of the housework and even some of the cooking during these busy months (I’m trying to hard to teach him to cook!) and that helps TREMENDOUSLY! My mom helps in designing props for photo shoots, and my dad fixes stuff around the house before guests arrive! Also, our family gatherings are always “pot luck” style, so no one person has to prepare the entire meal!
Hopefully the above tips will help YOU keep a firm grip on your sanity this coming season!
But what about YOU? What’s your BEST Holiday Sanity Saver tip?