Perhaps that example is an exaggeration, but the feeling of being totally unprepared for an upcoming event or holiday is not. The main problem for many of us is that we already are so busy with our overflowing lists that to add just one more thing pushes us to overload.
Christmas is the busiest time of the year for the majority of women. It is also the peak time for emotional roller coasters, unending to-do lists, flu epidemics, nativity plays, and children crying. And even though I write and speak on organization, I have a hard time getting it “all together” each Christmas.
Because of how hard Christmas is for me, I decided to write a book about it! “12 Steps to Having a More Organized Christmas and Holiday Season” has just been published and for the next four weeks, I will share some of the book with you. I pray that as I share tips and ideas, your Christmas to-do list will begin to be easier for you as well as have more meaning. For Jesus really is the reason for the season!
- The first real key is to plan as much as you can as early as you can. I know many of you don’t even have the time to sit down and plan. But if you can find just five minutes, a quick outline of what you need to do and when will be a big help to you.
- Set a date for when you want to be finished with shopping, wrapping and decorating. I try for December 1 so that the next 24 days I will be able to really enjoy the season. I will be able to go to my children’s school plays and parties, adult parties, choir and church programs, or even to just sit with a cup of coffee and look at the decorated tree.
- Then, using the date you have set to be finished, back track from that date and plan when you will buy or set-up your Christmas tree along with most of your decorating.
- You may also want to sit down with your family and plan the traditions and memories you all want. Many times a mom will put a tremendous amount of effort on one activity only to find out later that the family didn’t care for it! Ask your family what they remember from years past and what they would like for you to continue so they are a part of the cherished family traditions and memories.
- And as you are planning, you may want to plan the workload getting ready for Christmas requires. I know some families like to go out to the country and cut their own tree. For me, that would be too much effort for what I want in the tree category. So try to figure out what it is you really like to do for Christmas and ask what the other family members like also. You might find out that the best Christmas activity is curling up on the sofa with a warm blanket, popcorn and a great Christmas movie classic! Each family has different ideas of what makes a tradition or memory so find your own without comparing to others.
Are the Holidays joyous or stressful? Reader’s Digest magazine conducted a poll that showed roughly 90 percent of people from 16 countries report joyful feelings during the holiday season. The United States came in at 82 percent feeling joyful. I was surprised it was that high! But I’m also thrilled.
I hope as you go through this month you will concentrate on the joy of the season rather than on the extra work.
It’s time to start caroling! Did you know that singing can lower your blood pressure? Harvard researchers recently reported the dramatic case of a woman whose blood pressure was so high that surgeons postponed a critical operation – that is until she sang six favorite hymns. Her readings fell by more than 20 points, allowing a successful surgery the next day! ‘Tis the season to sing!
Manna from Heaven
“Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee, called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming in, he said to her, ‘Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.’
“But she was greatly troubled at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this might be. And the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His Kingdom will have no end.’” Luke 1:26-33
I will continue this story as the weeks continue up to Christmas. I pray this season will be a blessing to you!