My blog was featured on the NAPO-GPC website this month! Click on this link http://networkedblogs.com/R1cPc, or read the article below.
Do you want to experience a stress-free holiday season this year? It is possible but it requires some up-front planning. Simply writing lists that get scattered about is not the most effective preparation strategy. To be centered during the holiday and ease yourself into the planning process, start by finding a place in your home to create a Holiday Activity Center.
“What exactly is a Holiday Activity Center” you ask? It is a space in an area of your home dedicated to storing planning materials, and a place to compose gift lists and draft menus for holiday feasts or parties. You can organize décor, write holiday cards, create home-made gifts or ornaments, and do your brainstorming in your Holiday Activity Center.
Once you choose a comfortable location for your planning center, start to transfer your supplies there, including:
- Schedule or planner
- Pens, markers, and pencils
- Hanukkah/Christmas cards
- Address book
- Mailing labels
- Holiday magazines
- Mail order catalogs
- Printed recipes
- Other tools you need
You’ll need to dedicate storage for your materials and tools; find a nearby closet, a bookcase shelf or plastic storage containers that fit easily under furniture. Make sure your Holiday Activity Center is well lit, and initiate the Holiday spirit by lighting candles or playing festive music while you work.
Next, dedicate 15-20 minutes per day this week to get organized for the Holidays. Start out by planning for Thanksgiving — if you haven’t already — since it is coming up first. As a dinner host, give yourself more time to plan. Do you need to inform guests of items you would like them to bring? Will any of them stay over? How about planning seats at the table(s)? Food lists, setting the table, and creating a spectacular centerpiece may also be on your list. If you are an invited guest, your plans will likely involve travel arrangements and figuring out a gift for your host.
Use your Holiday Activity Center to coordinate Thanksgiving plans, but be sure to de-clutter visible areas well before guests arrive if you are a host. After Thanksgiving, plan when you will pull out the Hanukkah/Christmas/Kwanzaa décor and take an initial inventory. Create a timeline in your Holiday planner and break everything down into daily “To-Do” steps. If you plan ahead, you increase the chances of having a stress-free and enjoyable Holiday!