There are two and a half weeks until Christmas. This is crunch time. The calendar is full with parties, rehearsals and activities. How to we get it all done, enjoy the holiday season and continue with our normal responsibilities as well? It isn’t easy-but it can be done. I am currently using a few different organizational tools to keep me on track. I am using Google calendar for my main calendar, I’ve even created sub-calendars for my husband and the boys (now if they would just use them). I am also using a service called Remember the Milk. It is a free online task prioritizing and reminder service.
Here are some ideas to help your holiday planning go smoothly;
- Plan your week in advance. I try to put all my know tasks for the week into RTM (Remember the Milk) on Sunday evening. Then I have the RTM widget that displays in my G-mail so I know what I need to do when. I schedule my blog posts, special activities and planning I need to do for upcoming events. So far, it is working.
- Have a daily focus. I tend to work well my compartmentalizing things. Monday’s focus is Girlfriends Unlimited planning, Tuesday’s focus is Works of Wonder Planning etc. Now don’t get me wrong, there will be some tasks that don’t fit the main focus but have to be accomplished on a certain day and that is fine. I have always loved checking things off my to-do list so checking the “completed” box in RTM makes me feel good.
- Keep the kiddos schedule as close to normal as possible. Children thrive in a scheduled environment. We know rigid scheduling is impossible to live with but keeping nap time, bed time and eating times as consistent aspossible-even while traveling and visiting relatives, will cut back on tantrums and cranky children adding to the holiday stress.
- Allow yourself to take a time out. Watch a holiday movie with the family, read a holiday themed book, soak in the tub, breathe deep and relax for an hour or so. It is amazing how much more productive you will be when you get back to work.
- Focus on the real reason for the season. Worship together as a family. Read Luke 2.
- Make memories. My kids favorite Christmas presents have always been activities we do together not toys they play with for a week and then gets lost under the bed for 6 months. A few years ago we let our passes to Disney World lapse. The boys were 11 and 13 and all they wanted for Christmas was their Disney tickets back. When I asked them why, their answer was simple, “We like having fun as a family.”
I pray you thrive this Christmas season. When that stress starts creeping in, breath deep and thank God for his Son; born in a manger, died on a cross and saved me from my sins-the true meaning of this Christmas holiday, Love.