Yes ma’am – YOU. DID. IT!! Your Christmas decorations are all up inside the house (you are actually waiting for HGTV to call you any minute- for your new show….. wink-wink) and you are just getting ready to sit down and relax with your much-deserved “mommy drink” in hand…..but then something happens. Your enemy calls, and her name is “next”!! That irritating nag that keeps you at night, and wakes you up in a cold sweat, the TO DO list for tomorrow, the enemy of all enemies, the nightmares of all nightmares….. the “what do I need to do NEXT??!!”….. pest.
Well, it’s not like you have anything important to do anyway- right?? You really ONLY need to get yourself in gear for the outside decorations…..OH, and remember to check the light bulbs, and your families’ gifts, and don’t forget the teachers’ gifts and coaches/dance instructor’s gifts, and help out at church, and work in some holiday baking, and, And, AND, AND AND AND…… Calgon take me away already!!!! Gosh I’m old!!
You haven’t even had your first mommy sip ….and you are ALREADY cra-zee!!!. All you can think is “How am I going to get it ALL done (by myself of course), and “Why does this happen to me every year?” RING ANY BELLS??
Let’s change things up this year….. by getting this anxiety in check.
The Christmas Sanity Checklist –
(Secrets for a STRESS-FREE Christmas)
1) DIVIDE UP DUTIES– Don’t feel like you have to do Christmas all by yourself – anymore!! Ask your husband to help with his side of the families’ gifts and wishlists, and ask your side of the family to do the same. You won’t have to spend extra time “thinking” about what to get everybody, and wondering if they will like it or not. They wished it & you gifted it – period.
Get your kiddos to help with teachers/coaches/instructors’ gift ideas also. They can make a special card or help you bake (or pick up baked goods- my style) for them. Your kiddos will feel proud of their gifts, and you will get to spend extra time with your kiddos! All of these tips will help will take pressure off of you.
2) MAKE A LIST (and stick to it)–Get a detailed wishlist from your immediate family (husband and kiddos). You can knock items off the list faster since you won’t have to come up with your own ideas, and you can cut down on shopping time by knowing which stores carry specific items. Once you get the bulk of the list done, you’ll have more free time to do your special “surprise” gifts – the ones that get you those “extra hugs.”
STICK TO THE LIST– Do NOT stray from the list (I know it’s hard to do)- keep the straying for the surprise gifts. Do not keep adding to the list, or continue purchasing more and more presents just because you are out shopping for other people either. When your list is completed and you have your surprise gifts taken care of, you are done!! More presents cause extra gift wrapping, extra money, extra time, extra stress…..and well extra wine!! The list was created for a reason….for you to enjoy the Christmas season!!
3) CREATE A BUDGET (and stick to it) – Attach a firm budget to the list that you feel comfortable with. If you are feeling a little nervous about it, then trim items off of the list. You can bend a little one way or the other, but have an idea of what you are planning to spend on each item. That way if you have a little extra you can buy yourself something for your resourceful efforts- hahaha!! see #4.
STICK TO THE BUDGET – Don’t overspend. This will cause stress on it’s own, and in addition will mess up the planning method that you worked so hard on. Since you spent more money on little Johnny, now you’ll have to find something extra for little Susie. And on and on….. Do not overspend.
4) TREAT YOURSELF– Go ahead and allow yourself to have some wine, dessert coffee, a yummy pastry, etc….. to get you through the holidays- whenever the mood strikes. Worry about calories and exercising AFTER Christmas. Sometimes all you need is a break from ….well yourself….. to add a little pep to your step.
5) PAY IT FORWARD– By focusing on others, you will be reminded of how blessed you truly are. Do some holiday baking for friends or neighbors, volunteer for church events, donate food/clothing to shelters, etc. You can actually enjoy these activities without feeling like they are obligations. And isn’t that what the true meaning of Christmas is all about anyway…. the season of giving? Amen.
6) PLAY CHRISTMAS MUSIC – Find a radio station, pop in a CD, or download your favorite songs from I-tunes. All your stress and worries will begin to melt away as soon as you hear Christmas carols. It’s like God sprinkles a little magic every time a Christmas song is played!! No matter your age or your music genre, there is something for everyone.
7) WRAP PRESENTS/GIFT BAGS– Get all of your presents wrapped as soon as possible. Pick a night where you can spend some time wrapping multiple gifts in one setting. That way you don’t have to keep pulling out the paper/bags for each gift. If you choose to wrap, try using only 2 or 3 patterns/rolls to cut down on choices, and do several simple looks while mixing in one “fancy” gift to add a little sparkle. Need the perfect bow -Click Here for my easy Bow tutorial.
Even though using gifts bags cut down on time, they can also get a little expensive. If you choose gift bags, try buying in bulk & then adding pretty ribbon/bows or contrasting tissue paper.
8) PLAN A GNO– Now that you have purchased your gifts, wrapped them, and have money to spare….plan a Girls’ Night Out with your girlfriends. You deserve a break, and you can let off some “shopping” steam to them. Women NEED to vent, so what better way to get it all out than to share some stories with your favorite gal pals. A couple of hours out with your friends = almost ONE full week of less griping to your honey!! Am i right??!!
9) ENJOY YOUR FAMILY (and the season of Christmas)- Give your loved ones a hug, say a prayer, and soak in the JOY.
Yes Ma’am – YOU. DID. IT!!!
HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! LOVE & HUGS 🙂
***Need Christmas inspiration?? Check out these posts….Click here for Christmas Wreath Ideas or Here for Christmas Staircase Ideas. ***