Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tuesday Tips: Stress Free Holidays

I decided to make Tuesday Tips a series for the month of December. I know you don't have time to read long blogs. Well, I don't have time write long blogs, either. So, every Tuesday will be just a few tips to help make the holidays less stressful.

With only 30 days til Christmas, now is the time to start thinking about your holiday activities, gifts, and traditions. Today's tips are all about what you can do now in November.
1. Plan ahead. This sounds obvious, but how many times do we actually take the time to plan the little things that need to get done? Write a list of all the things you want to do for the holidays: bake, make cards, have a party, take family pictures, make/buy gifts for your kids' teachers, shop for Christmas outfit, pick up stocking stuffers...the list goes on. Grab your calendar or print out a December calendar and start writing in dates to get those things done. Post it somewhere you'll look often so you can keep organized and know ahead of time what supplies you need or when you'll need a babysitter.
2. Bake ahead. If you're planning on giving gifts of cookies or other baked good, consider baking ahead of time and freezing your cookies. This way, you can bake up your baking list over different days rather than trying to devote an entire day or weekend to just baking. I know this is something I have to do this year. There's no way I can spend an entire day or 2 baking and still take care of 2 babies, all while trying to keep L away from the oven!
3. Make a photo list.
So many different holiday memories will be made and you'll want to remember those moments with pictures. Whether you've got the newest DSLR camera or a disposable plastic camera, you can capture special photos if you think ahead and anticipate when you'll need your camera. Include in your list any festivities like parties, school performances, church events, and other special or tradional events. Then add activities you might do like driving through neighborhoods to see lights, baking cookies with your kids, decorating the tree, wrapping and openning presents, etc. Now, add special items or moments that are unique or special to you and your family. Maybe you have a star for the tree or ornament you've had since you got married...plan to take a picture of someone placing it on the tree. Capture your child's excitement when they wake up Christmas morning. Take a picture of your child reading a Christmas storybook or eating a candy cane. If you plan ahead, you'll have your camera ready when those special moments happen.

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