For those who are basting the bird or roasting the beast, your're still faced with decor, shopping, cards (giving and receiving), caroling and consuming...lots and lots of consuming. But neither your waistline nor patience needs to suffer. Instead grab your calendar and get ready.
Thanksgiving came early this year. Not only do you have an extra week to Christmas shop, the push to decorate does not have to be too soon either. In our home we opt to forgo shopping on the Friday through Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend to decorate the house. Turning on a football game while pulling boxes out of the attic and decorating is the perfect way to multi-task. A tree can wait but at least all the other stuff is out and ready to go. It's a great opportunity to savor a four-day weekend while noshing on leftovers and maybe using that turkey carcass to make some soup. While others are in a shopping frenzy, you can embrace the spirit of the Holidays by taking it easy.
The time saved waiting in line, looking for parking and keeping sane with all the crowds has its benefits. By decorating while everyone else is shopping, your Christmas list can be readied and so can you. Shopping the evenings after Thanksgiving and knowing that your home is already decorated, will save you time AND keep your Christmas Spirit alive.
Having a decorated home and a few presents purchased, you can turn on Charlie Brown Christmas (or another seasonal flick) and wrap a few presents. Whether you are folding paper, tying ribbon or bagging your gifts, you can take a little time to relax while you begin the process of filling that space between your tree and the floor. Kids can help too. It's never too early to show them how to wrap a basic box or make a bow. They can also address the tags. Not only is this a great opportunity to remind them that giving to others is important, with all the texting and keyboarding they do, a little printing on a tag can greatly assist with their handwriting capabilities.
On an evening that you don't shop you can take advantage of a nice fire, a glass of wine and addressing Christmas Cards. Whether you mail them via USPS or email, having the card, addresses and stamps (or a second set of eyes for editing) will give you the opportunity to reach out to those who you don't always see but want to wish well during this season.
While many adore this time of year, an equal amount despise the chaos and pressure that the Holidays can bring. These recommendations can add a little assistance up front. If you feel the need for a little direction, begin here so you can set the mood for the month.
The real need for most people during this time of year is the opportunity to give and receive a plethora of recognition. As long as you work to give to others, you'll receive too. What ebbs also flows. And if you are pleasantly prepared and working toward giving, sending and welcoming everyone you care about and see during this season, your stress level will plummet, so receiving will be easier to recognize and take in.