Saturday, November 23, 2013

Christmas Series Day 2 - 4 week guide to getting Christmas done!

On the 2nd Day of Christmas
Santa brought to me

Jenny with "The Happy Gal"

Her gift for us is a post on a
"4 week guide to getting christmas done"

Image Map

I know I’m not the only one that feels a little overwhelmed at the thought of Christmas. Between the decorating and the shopping and the wrapping and the parties, the tasks start to stack up…and so does our anxiety!

Through my blog I encourage my followers to remember that life doesn’t have to look a certain way, and that includes Christmas. Sure, in the past you might have run yourself ragged trying to keep up a festive holiday pace. But remember, there are no rules about what Christmas has to be. Are you ready to relax and experience Christmas in a different way this year? This simple guide can help you adequately prepare for the holidays while still leaving you plenty of room to actually enjoy them.

Week 1 {November 24-30} Decorate.
 Decorating helps create an ambience that is unparalleled during the rest of the year. I encourage this to be your focus this first week so you can enjoy the holiday cheer throughout the entire season. Just remember that it doesn't have to look a certain way. If decorating is not your specialty, then give yourself permission to tone it down this year. Just choose a few of your favorite decorations. This especially applies to those of you who have been dreading the decorating because it takes over your life for several days. If you feel overwhelmed, those feelings might be a signal that you need to simplify. Have the courage to cut back if needed. Or perhaps you love to decorate, but it seems to hang over your head for weeks. Give yourself a decorating deadline of November 30 so you can move on to other holiday preparations.

Week 2 {December 1-7} Shop.
Where did this pressure come from to be “done” with your shopping before Thanksgiving? That might work for some people, but don’t feel badly if you still have the bulk of your shopping to do. Dedicate this week to getting it done. If possible, on December 1 make a complete list of all gifts you need to purchase. Then click here to meet my good friend Amazonand ORDER EVERYTHING YOU CAN ONLINE. It is worth every penny of shipping, as it saves you gas, time, and the hassle of hunting down the right size or that out-of-stock toy. Place your Amazon orders at the beginning of the week. Upon arrival, inspect each item, keep all receipts in the same place, and create a space for returns. By the end of the week you’ll be ready to ship back the returns and then shop for the remaining items that couldn’t be ordered online. THG Tip: Keep your list with you in your purse or car at all times so you can update or have a place to jot down a good idea when it comes.

Week 3 {December 8-14} Select holiday traditions.
t’s okay to think about this half way through December. It can be a lot of pressure to feel that you have to continue with a dozen different holiday traditions, and ironically, that pressure can defeat the original purpose. In our stress to create the “Perfect Christmas,” we can miss the Christmas spirit completely. At the beginning of this week, make two lists: every tradition you’ve done in the past, and every new tradition you’d like to try. (Sidenote: I think items such as sending out Christmas cards and giving neighbor gifts can fall into the tradition category. You don’t have to do them!) Evaluate which traditions bring you the most joy and then ask yourself which you have the most time for. Choose a few meaningful traditions, and realize that you can re-evaluate next year. Remember, Christmas doesn’t have to look a certain way. You have the power to create the kind of holiday season that will mean the most to you.

Week 4 {December 15-21} Wrap it up..literally!
y now all of your orders should have arrived. Give your gifts a final inspection at the beginning of the week, and take the next few days to purchase any remaining items, including plenty of wrapping paper and tape. Then set aside a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday night with your favorite Christmas movie to get those gifts wrapped up. How nice it will be have those last few days before Christmas to spend with family and friends, rather than rushing around to complete the final details!

Sometimes we make Christmas (and life, for that matter) a lot harder than it needs to be. This post is your invitation to free yourself from outdated and unrealistic expectations of what you think you have to do each Christmas, and create the kind of holiday experience you have been longing for. At The Happy Gal, I believe that life is so good…and Christmas is no exception. Visit for more great ideas in the "Christmas The Happy Gal Way" series. In particular you'll want to check out The Happy Gal's Guide to an Organized Christmas. From to The Happy Gal Holiday Gift GuideThe Happy Gal is your source for a happy, healthy, and organized holiday season.

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