Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Making time for the Holidays

The holidays are fast approaching and if you're like me you're wondering where the months between June and October went.  And as if it wasn't enough we have about six less days to get ready for Christmas!  Rather than stress about how I'm going to get everything done before Thanksgiving and Christmas I compartmentalize my life and schedule.

The very first thing I do is open up my schedule to see what free time I have. Now if you're a working mom, entrepreneur or someone who is running in a thousand directions this can make your heart flutter and your head ach.  Rather than freak out I say to myself on this day at this time I'm going to do "x" and on this afternoon from this time to that time I'm going to do "y".  By creating at strategy and writing it down it will help you manage your holiday schedule a bit easier.

By doing this you can then determine how much you can actually fit into your life without driving yourself crazy.  The past few years (and this) I've had to say no.  No I'm not putting up all the decorations.  No, I'm not cooking all the sides for the holiday dinner and no, I'm not going to make 10 different batches of holiday cookies, I'm going to make 5.  Once you've set the boundaries, then you begin to make life easier for yourself.

Once I know what I am going to do, I set out and make a list.  Do this on your computer, tablet, smart phone, daily planner, whatever works for you!  Just do it, make a list.  This will keep you organized!  For example I've made a list of all the holiday cookies I'm making.  Last year I made 10 different types of cookies.  I just simply don't have the time to do that, so rather than stress, I wrote down all the cookies I made last year and then narrowed down to my top 5. I chose what was quick, inexpensive and what could be made ahead of time and either frozen or refrigerated.  The key was having a plan.

Now that I had a plan I was able to schedule when I was going to make the cookies.  This can be applied to Thanksgiving dinner.  I live in NYC and like most New Yorkers my kitchen is small, I don't have a lot of oven, stove or refrigerator space.  So by scheduling out what I am going to make and when It allows me to not feel overwhelmed and it allows me to make everything (as much as possible) ahead of time.  Leaving me to enjoy the actual day with family friends rather than be in the kitchen.  Remember, you want to be a guest at your own party.

I hope these little tips help make planning your holiday party easier and less stressful.  Until next  - Cheers!

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