Can you believe it??? A year has flown by once again and it's truly the Holiday Season! It's time for all the fun and exciting things during this time of year. How do you make sure the holiday activities stay fun and exciting instead of mundane and stressful? I have a few ideas!
Plan a Party Strategy - Parties can be a blast...but prepping for one for me is torture. I worry about what to wear, who will be there, will I have someone to talk to, what will I miss on TV at home (seriously) and will I be too tired. Ridiculous I know, but I am sure there are several out there that have their own "stress list" when it comes to attending holiday parties. I say, have a party strategy. Do your best to address the most stressful things as soon as you know about the party in question and that will help a bit. Remind yourself of all the other parties you "dreaded" in the past and how great they all turned out (maybe a few were awful, but don't think about those!!!) and have an "exit strategy" for you and your date so that you both are on the same page beforehand. Also, figure out one thing you want to do differently or better than you did at the last party you attended and do it. ***TIP Remember you can't attend every single party so pick and choose carefully and remember which ones you didn't attend this year so that you can switch it up next year.
Plan for Family Time - Just as you put a party on a calendar this month, put down some special family time as well. I am not talking just about the MAIN holiday event, but, a day/evening here and there to do something with your immediate family (kids, spouse, close friends) and stick to it. It can be a special night out, dinner at home, movie/game night or a time when you as a family does something special for someone. If it's on the calendar, you can have supplies ready if it is cookie day or the budget ready to accommodate a special dinner out. How many times have these special times been "intended" but don't happen because you were ill prepared. ***TIP Make sure you check with your family's'/friends' calendars and don't try to schedule something on a day that they already have a commitment.
Plan for the Big Days - Of course you have to be prepped for the BIG DAY (or days--depending on who all you spend the holidays with). Make sure when Grandma says her dinner is on a certain day, you get it in the calendar or ask for time off or plan other appointments around the special day. Waiting until the last minute for your gifts to be wrapped or what food you will be bringing or to look up the new address to your Aunt's house might cause you some issues. The more you know ahead, the smoother everything runs. ***TIP Make sure you get directions, recipes, gift ideas and dates all together right away so you truly have time to enjoy the holiday and not spend it being upset that you messed something up.
Plan for the Aftermath - Just get it in your head right now that the first few days after the big holiday events, you will be feeling a bit like you need to sleep for several days. It all can be a LOT of work. But, sometimes we get it in our heads (possibly because we really really enjoyed ourselves!) that we have to push push push to clean things up perfectly or have everything put in it's proper place since we had some leisure time! Emotionally it can be a let down when all the family leaves, things go back to the old routines and reality sets in. It's normal to feel both relief and a weird loss. Give yourself about a week before you give yourself a good kick in the butt to get back to "normal". The holidays put us in a state of limbo for nearly a month with all the different activities so getting back to feeling "normal" might take a bit as well. This is all ok. We need time to soak all the fun and chaos in and treasure every moment. Next year it will be different--sometimes by something little, sometimes something much greater changes, but, no year will ever be exactly the same again. There will be new games to prep for next year!
Until Next Time!
Jen Lush--Associate Broker and Managing Broker's Mother