Preparing for The Holidays: A Checklist

The holiday season seems to pass by faster and faster each year and, many times, this joyous and wonderful time of year is far more stressful and hectic than we’d like to admit. With that in mind, preparing for the holidays is more important than ever! For that reason, I’ve created a priority checklist to help people get the most out of their holiday season, all while feeling less stressed and more accomplished.

Hack Gift Giving

Black Friday and Cyber Monday may be behind us, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t more shopping to do. It’s always a good idea to get shopping done earlier to avoid the massive rush in the last few days before a holiday. Having trouble deciding what to get everyone? I have a foolproof strategy I utilize to make those decisions much easier: A pre-holiday questionnaire! It includes questions like:

1-What do you want most?

2–What are your favorite colors for clothing?

 3–What are your sizes?

 4–What are your favorite stores for shopping or gift certificates?

 5–What do you NOT want as a gift?

It’s surprisingly effective and everyone, including myself, is happier to know that everyone will love their gifts with no need to exchange a wrong size! Before issuing my questionnaire, which we have done for the last 4-5 years, I gave money or gift certificates. However, on Christmas day, we’ve found it much more enjoyable to open an actual gift. However, I must admit that my secret weapon is my granddaughter, Jamie, who helps me with choices of clothes for her sisters—we take the above filled out list with us. This year it will be more of a challenge, since she delivered my first great granddaughter three months ago.  Fortunately, Ella is a very good baby who we plan to take with us.

Take Care of Yourself

How can we care for others if we don’t take care of ourselves? It’s easy to get caught up in the season and rush to get everything done, neglecting our own wellbeing. This will not result in the outcome we desire. Make time to see friends, maybe even visit a spa. Treating ourselves to some self-care can go a long way to making it a more pleasant and stress-free holiday! 

Ask for Help

Ahh…sometimes it’s fun try to do everything ourselves, but why do that when we are surrounded by loved ones who are more than capable of easing the burden! Keep in mind, we’re not superhumans–no matter what the latest blockbuster makes us believe. The truth is, everyone needs help and others feel better when given the chance to contribute. Don’t deprive them of that chance. It’s a bad habit that can make things much harder than they need to be!

Live in The Moment

Of all of these, this might be the most important. In the end, all of the preparation, love, care, blood, sweat and tears that went into making this last Christmas of the decade one to remember, could be lost if we forget to sit back and truly enjoy it. Living in the moment can be hard sometimes, especially when we’re hosting, but we owe it to ourselves and our loved ones, to be present, and enjoy the time together. 

The holidays are a time of year to concentrate our love, joy and happiness into these moments we will never get to experience again, but through the memories they leave behind. Make memories with your loved ones (related through blood or friendship) which you can enjoy throughout the years, until you get to do it all over again–but maybe at someone else’s house! 

The post Preparing for The Holidays: A Checklist appeared first on Darlene Quinn.

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