If you read my blog post last month, http://www.immaculateclean.com/blog/tis-the-season-for-holiday-stress/ you already know that I have been stressing about this year’s Christmas preparations since before Halloween. After much careful analysis, I’ve concluded that most of that stress is due to the fact that the holiday “To-Do” list in our house looks much like this:
Wife’s Christmas To-Do List
- Fill Advent Calendar
- Have Christmas Card photo made
- Order Christmas Cards
- Address and mail Christmas Cards
- Water Christmas tree (daily)
- Move Elf-on-the-Shelf (nightly)
- Shop for Kid 1
- Shop for Kid 2
- Shop for Husband
- Shop for Mom
- Shop for Dad
- Shop for Mother-in-Law
- Shop for Brother
- Shop for Sister-in-Law
- Shop for Brother-in-Law
- Shop for Nephews
- Shop for Nieces
- Shop for Teacher
- Shop for Mailman
- Shop for Toys-for-Tots drive
- Shop for Boss
- Shop for Dog
- Shop for Best Friend
- Shop for Neighbor
- Wrap presents
- Hide presents
- Buy outfit for holiday party #1
- Buy outfit for holiday party #2
- Bake cookies
- Cook/clean for holiday guests
Husband’s Christmas To-Do List:
- Shop for Wife
So I’ve learned a few things over those 26 years. If your Christmas to-do list looks anything like mine does, and if every single year you just aren’t sure how you’re going to get it all done, here are a few tips:
- WRITE IT ALL DOWN. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Lists are the key to keeping yourself organized and remaining calm. Although a list like the one above might fill you with a wee bit of panic at first glance, it sure beats floating through your days wondering whether you’re forgetting to do something important. Plus, I’m all about that little dopamine rush that comes from crossing an item off of the list.
- SET AN EARLY DEADLINE. As a serial procrastinator, this was a hard lesson for me to learn, but after being burned by too many Christmas “emergencies,” including things like sick kids or snow days, I now set a drop-dead date for myself of December 20th for all shopping to be done and gifts to be wrapped. Without the last-minute shopping pressure, you might actually be able to relax a little bit and enjoy the last few days of the season.
- SET THE MOOD. Although I’m a Grinch when it comes to stores decking the halls in mid-October or TV stations showing Christmas movies before Halloween, once Thanksgiving hits, it’s all fair game. Crank up the Christmas tunes and sing along, loudly; it will put you in the right frame of mind to do whatever holiday-related task lies in front of you.
- GET YOUR HOUSE CLEANED. Maybe you are hosting your husband’s office party (yep, I somehow got roped into that this year), or maybe no one is going to step foot in your house besides your immediate family. Either way, having it professionally cleaned during the holiday season can alleviate a lot of your stress. For one thing, it is a lot easier to focus and get things done when your house is clean. Immaculate Clean makes it easy! They offer one time cleaning services! You can hire them to clean your whole house, or just have them focus on something like bathrooms and the kitchen. They even offer a One Time Holiday Clean Discount! Contact them for information.
- ASK FOR HELP. As evidenced by my list above, that’s a lesson I still haven’t taken to heart. But delegating some of the the tasks on my side of the list would probably do wonders for my stress-level and wouldn’t hurt my marriage either!
Oh, and here’s a bonus tip: If you find yourself struggling for a gift idea, don’t forget: an Immaculate Clean Gift Certificate makes a perfect (and easy) gift! New and existing clients can save up to 12% with their pre-pay discount. Contact them today to learn more!