A stress free Holiday Season, Preparing for the holidays doesn't have to be stressful. It can be an enjoyable time that the entire family can participate in. Many times holiday planning falls on the shoulders of one family member (usually Mom). Try getting everyone involved this year. Delegate responsibility to each family member according to their abilities. It may surprise you at how quickly things get done.
By involving the entire family in group activities, you may find a great deal of help you didn't know you had, and create new memories that bring cherished memories for years to come. You may even find that you start new family traditions, or do some tweaking to the old.
Know what you want this holiday experience to be like and go from there. Setting realistic goals and expectations will make this the best holiday. Think over past holiday seasons: what worked, what didn't work? The things that held the most meaning are often that which are most remembered and bring continued smiles when thought of.
Now that your somewhat willing family members are involved and on board, start assigning certain tasks. Begin early by delegating the cleaning chores. A little work here and there rather than all at once makes for better cooperation and less stress.
Preparing a grand meal for a lot of guests? Try shopping early to avoid the holiday rush. Once you have your ingredients, do all your prep work a few days or a week ahead. Cutting up the vegetables and storing them in the freezer until use is a great time saver. If you don't have any dessert thieves in your house, make your desserts two-three days ahead. Or, you can do what many people have done for years...order out! (Who will know? Just remember to get rid of the boxes!)
Whatever you decide to do to celebrate the holidays, find a way to do it together, getting everyone involved. Whether you are a large family or a small family, planning ahead, setting realistic goals, focusing on family and doing it together will create the holiday that you desire. Don't try for a perfect holiday, but rather an enjoyable holiday. Celebrate who you are as a family. Don't get caught up in creating a perfect holiday that you forget that the real celebration is sharing it with the people you love. It's what treasured memories are made of.