Rushing, shopping, baking, decorating, cleaning, entertaining, wrapping, cooking, cleaning, shopping, cleaning, aaaarrrrgggghhh! It is the holiday season! So much to do, so little time to do it! How will it all get done? Here are some tips that should help sort it all out for you.

Things You Will Need

Paper and pencil
Hot Toddy

Step 1

Start by making a list. Yes, a list, just like Santa's list, but this one is not for naughty or nice. This one will have two columns, the first one is the list of tasks that need to be done. The second column is a shopping list. Whenever you add a task to the list on the left, make sure you add everything you need to buy to accomplish that task.

Step 2

Check that list. As you accomplish the tasks, or buy the items, check them off -- this will give you a sense of satisfaction seeing the items checked off. Even though it feels like you are spinning your wheels and not getting anything done the list with all the checkmarks will show you are actually accomplishing something!

Step 3

Go back to the list and assign someone to do the tasks. For example, my list starts with 'clean the house.' Fortunately, I have a housekeeper who comes in once a month to dig me out of the mess I make. I re-scheduled her for later this month (2 days before my party)so the heavy cleaning will be done and I don't have to worry about it. I assigned 'clean the patio' to my daughter. By delegating tasks, you are not stuck with doing everything.

Step 4

Schedule your shopping trips. Review the task list and determine when you need to purchase the items to complete the tasks. Try to get as much done in one or two trips as possible. If you need ice for the party and it is a week away and you do not have anywhere to keep the ice, then that item goes on the list for just before the party.

Step 5

Take time to relax as the big day gets closer. My daughter gave me a gift certificate for my birthday to a spa for a massage. I saved it and plan to get the massage the morning of my party -- so I have scheduled everything to fit around my being gone for two hours that morning. If that is not an option, then just make sure to take some time before everything starts to relax and rest so you are ready for your guests.

When it is all over, the torn wrapping paper is all picked up, the sticky spots on the coffee table from drink glasses are all wiped up, and everyone is gone, take a few minutes, put your feet up, and settle down with the hot toddy of your choice and give a big sigh. You have survived yet another holiday season - and lived to do it all again next year! Happy Holidays Everyone!

Tips & Warnings

Remember, the sun will come up tomorrow morning, even if you don't get all the work done today!

Good planning and implementation of the plan will go a long way toward a stress-less holiday.

Don't forget to take time for yourself during this hectic time.