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Strategies for Avoiding Holiday Stress

The 5 Steps to Organizing process as it applies to your Holiday schedule:

#1 Strategize
 List all your holiday activities that you want to do

    ACTIVITY                                                                 WHEN
1.    ______________________________________________
2.    ______________________________________________
3.    ______________________________________________
4.    ______________________________________________
5.    ______________________________________________

List everyone that is on your gift list and your budget for each.

    NAME                           GIFT IDEAS                      BUDGET
1.    ______________________________________________
2.    ______________________________________________
3.    ______________________________________________
4.    ______________________________________________
5.    ______________________________________________   

#2 Prioritize
  • Work from the above list and eliminate the activities you and your family do not wish to continue.
  • Eliminate the activities that are in your “should” category.
  • If it is too difficult to decide, narrow it down to each family member can pick one and only one activity that is most important to them.
  • Create new traditions as your family grows and matures.
  • Make an agreement with those on your previous gift list to eliminate that practice this year or donate your time, money or possessions to a charity.
#3 Localize
  • Write down your new and improved list of activities, traditions and gift list you want to continue this year.
  • This list is what you will now use to create your timeline for the rest of the holiday season.
#4 Containerize
  • Work backwards from your winter holiday to determine what you need to do and when.
  • On your family calendar write down when you are going to do each activity and any other days necessary to complete the activity. 
  • For example, gift making can involve more than one day to buy materials, make gifts, wrap gifts, and mail or deliver gifts.  Or, hosting a holiday open house involves planning the menu, deciding who to invite, buying or making the invitations, shopping for the food, preparing the food, and cleaning the house.
#5 Maximize
  • Can you follow this plan easily?
  • Did this plan help you to enjoy the activities you chose?
  • Did this plan enable you to enlist the help of your family?
  • Will you want to continue this next year?
  • Now, you and your family have an agreed upon holiday plan.  When other activities come up—invitations to parties, school productions, etc.—you can look at your holiday calendar plan and decide if it will fit into your plan.  If not, say NO and be at peace with your decision.  If it will, say YES and enjoy the holidays!


Please share your strategies to you have for avoiding holiday stress.

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