Organized for Life: Organized for the Holidays!

By Deb Powell

I have a different view of ‘holidays’. Yes, I celebrate with my family, but I’m against so much fuss, work, and expense that come with it… My theory is this: I don’t need a calendar to tell me when to invite someone over for dinner, or buy them things… If we weren’t so intimidated by traditions or calendars, there would be a lot less stress. Remember the ‘Reason for this ‘Season’… it’s not buying too much, and exhausting ourselves… Make sure you read my ‘Christmas’ poem.

So let’s try something new! Have a summer gathering at a cottage with a bonfire and a swim, or take a family trip. ‘Time together’ makes the best memories!

But, if you choose to do the usual things, I hope this article will help make your holidays less stressful.

Rule #1: START EARLY!!! 



Use a planner/calendar

Make a list of everything everyone WANTS to do… then decide which ones you WILL do… alternate every year… or just cut down

Politely say NO to commitments/invitations

Make lists of everything… do something everyday

State approximate times for tasks

Schedule rests, family/self-care times

Advent calendars for kids to count down days themselves

Call instead of sending cards, OR, send them after it’s all over, then you have something new to share



Plan menus, opt for easier meals, my mom cooks the main dinner on a certain day, and others enjoy casseroles or leftovers…

Everyone brings a dish… and/or dessert…

Cook and bake ahead of time (not the time to try new recipes)

Make stuffing in slow cooker (no scooping out turkey)



De-clutter and donate toys, clothes… BEFORE the holidays

Have space for guest’s coats and boots…


Have a wrapping station – ironing board is height adjustable and easy to move

Shop online over time, wrap as you buy…or, stack boxes in the corner with names

In this era of dollar stores and unlimited credit, most of us don’t NEED anything. Cut back on gifts. The sheer number is totally overwhelming, especially to kids. They can’t process or appreciate it all. I don’t buy at Christmas or birthdays, I buy or treat them thru the year when no one else is… they love it! ϑ

Draw names! It’s fun and easy! Let kids do their own shopping. Pick a dollar limit, buy fun gifts, have a theme… 

Experience fund! Decorate a money jar! Let kids choose the experience: day trip, lessons, art\music course… no gifts, just $$…

OR, take them on an adventure, vacation, teach them something, donate to charity… volunteer with them…. There’s more to life than buying stuff we don’t need just because the calendar says it’s time… be unique!

Happy Holidays!!! 

Don’t miss January’s article, ‘Happy Organized New Year!’
Questions and feedback welcome – debmag04@gmail.com