Simplification. I know, I know, you’re tired of hearing about it but trust me, it will make your life easier over the coming weeks and right into the New Year.
Like any project where you must decide what your priorities are, the holiday season is pretty much the same process. In my mind, there are five major pieces of this project: Scheduling events, shopping for gifts, cooking and baking, decorating and sending holiday cards.
I’m not sure about you, but my schedule has already started to get booked by all of those super-organized people who are way ahead of the game. There’s the annual tree hunting expedition with potluck to warm up afterwards. Yup, you’ve got it. I have a group of friends who actually trek out into the country and cut their own tree at the lot, load it up and drive it back into town. Apparently they think it’s fun. And that is the most important part of the holiday season, doing what you find to be fun. As you can tell, I will be skipping the tree trek but thankfully they keep inviting me just in case some year I change my mind. You never know . . .
Some people love to spend their time going from one party to another and being around as many people as possible. Others are the exact opposite and want to spend lots of quality time with a few people relaxing, reflecting and rejuvenating. If you decide which you prefer you will have a much easier time deciding which invitations to accept especially when you get invited to two parties on Christmas Eve. Do you choose one over the other or try to go to both?
And then there’s the gift shopping which I know many of you have already finished. Especially those of you who love the holidays and start shopping in the summer. Maybe you could offer yourself out for hire for other people who don’t enjoy it as much. I was walking behind two ladies at the mall a couple of weeks ago and they were reviewing their lists and saying how they just had to add a couple of gift certificates to what they had purchased and their shopping would be done. Impressive.
If you haven’t done any shopping, start with a list and a budget. And please keep in mind that a good many of your friends and family don’t really need anything. Talk to your family and friends and find out what they really want – you might be surprised by the answers you get.
I love the idea of consumables, unless the person you plan to give them to is watching their weight in which case a gift certificate for a chef service might be nice. Somehow it doesn’t seem like the holidays to me without at least one box of dark chocolates. Yup, that’s a hint. For many of us, there’s always an occasion that requires a nice bottle of wine. Or perhaps you have a tradition of baking treats for everyone. What if you gave them a few of your best Christmas cookies in a beautiful box with a lottery ticket or a gift card? Ta da, no clutter!
Well, I’m out of room, so next week we’ll see about a few of the other pieces of the holiday project.