Are you at work, thinking about all the Christmas shopping you have to do, and the changes you need to make at the house for all those holiday guests.
Are you at home, trying to work out, when you can get time off to tackle all the things that need doing, but you also have that big presentation at work to deal with?
Now the anxiety is starting to set in, and just like last year, you are going to be rushed off your feet with last minute shopping, last minute dinners and last minute gift wrapping.
Well this year will be different!. You are going to learn the art of "Christmas list building" and "delegating" But you need to start now, for this to work.
Start a Christmas To Do List on Paper
Get a pad of paper that you can keep with you, something small enough to throw in your purse, but big enough to write all your "to do's" in it. The first list you are going to make, is everyone's name that you feel you need to purchase gifts for.
Once you have created your Christmas list. Turn to another page, and make a list of the things you HAVE to do for the holidays, and when. Such as baking, or setting up the guest room, or clean sheets for the foldout (remember last year when those last minute guests stayed overnight, and you pulled out the fold out couch to find in horror it was full of lint and cheerios??). An outfit you need to buy, whatever you can think of that has been swimming around in your brain the last few weeks.
The next page, come up with a menu, for any entertaining you will be doing, whether it is just drinks and snacks, or a full Christmas dinner, start getting the menu in order, while you are relaxed and can think of what you would like to serve this year.
The next page, write down all parties or work parties, or kids parties that you need to attend, or get your kids to, and any gifts that might be involved with these Christmas parties.
Which Christmas To Do List Causes the Most Stress?
Now you have your pages of lists. Each of them separate sets of chores. Now pick which list, you feel causes you the most stress every year. If it is the gift buying, then start working on that list now. If it is the menu, then start working out what you will need for groceries, that you can get now, that you can freeze ahead of time. So, pick your list.
Now that you have picked your list. Start looking around your family or friends, to see who can help. If you daughter is great at decorating the tree or house, then delegate that job to her. You do not need to do EVERYTHING yourself, and everything does NOT need to be perfect. If your hubby is really good at cooking, let him do something, if your sister is the best at baking, then get her to do the baking, and you do something else for her.
Start Delegating Your To Do List
The idea of this, is to get these chores all down in lists. By separating them into different jobs, it does not seem like such a big chore. You have your page of gifts to get, and as you get a gift, make sure to cross off that person. Keep this list with you, just in case you are out shopping and you see something you think someone on the list might like.
This way you do not have this huge clipboard of things written in the side margin as yoCredit: morguefile.comu come up with them. You do not have "buy stuffing" mixed in with "I need to get Aunt Bert something this year".. If your Christmas "to do list" looks like chaos, then everything you do will seem like chaos. Who made the rule that you could not enjoy the holidays?.. It is a time for family, peace and harmony, not you running around like a chicken with no head.
Get your family involved early. Delegate the chores you can. If you are working on the list for a Christmas party you are having at your house, then delegate vacuuming to one of the kids, or friend or relative, that asks if you could use some help.. say YES YES YES, instead of NO. Learn to accept help at this time of year.
Pot Luck for Christmas Dinner
If you are hosting Christmas dinner this year for everyone, why not do pot luck?. You can make a list of your family and assign a dish for them to make. (this way you don't get five casseroles of vegetables) and if you have someone who can't cook at all, assign them buns and drinks.. I have found this to work very well in our family. For years my mother insisted on that "perfect homemade everything Christmas" and she always look absolutely exhausted for it. Getting up at the crack of dawn to get the turkey in, and timing the oven for other dishes, and homemade bread stuffing... We finally convinced her, that we could bring all the other dishes. She wanted to do the turkey, and the table setting. She would set the table the day before, and cooked the turkey the day before, carved it, and warmed it up again on Christmas Day.
That may not sound like your idea of Christmas dinner, but for us, it was so nice to see my mom, less stressed, and feeling good and enjoying the day, and was able to visit with us, instead of all day in the kitchen, when we all helped.
My mom taught me the list system, and it has worked for many things in my life. It gets those fleeting thoughts of "Oh I must do this soon.." on paper. I find that I can tell if things are getting out of control by the size of the list. If I get to the bottom of the page for my "to do list" then it is time for some delegating!
Christmas is no different. So, get your Christmas to do list, going now, and see if you can either scratch chores off as you get them done, or delegate them out. You will feel more organized, and your brain will not have to play the Ferris wheel game, of spinning around in your head.
You get to enjoy Christmas too, and if you set up your lists now, you will not forget anyone, and there will be no more mad dashes to the convenience store the night before. Have a Merry Christmas and enjoy it this year!.
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