Things You Can Do Now for a Simpler Christmas in December
By Nancy Twigg
Every year do you wish for a less stressful holiday season? This
year, don't just dream about a simpler Christmas. Make it a reality by taking
action. Consider these positive steps you can take in October to ensure a less
hectic, more meaningful Christmas celebration in December:
Christmas shopping before the Christmas rush - Don't wait until
the stores are packed with thousands of holiday shoppers. Beat the crowds. Ask
family members for their Christmas wish lists and get busy now.
Take care of time-consuming tasks - Writing Christmas cards,
wrapping gifts, boxing up presents to mail- why wait until December to attend to
these time-consuming details? There’s no reason to put off these tasks. Knock
them out now.
Fill your freezer - Each time you cook in the next few weeks,
double or even triple your recipes and freeze the extra portions. During the
hectic holiday season, you’ll be thankful to have those quick heat-and-eat meals
in the freezer.
Plan volunteer activities now - Is there some charitable work
you'd like to do each year that you never seem to get around to? Does the idea
of giving back to the community always get lost in the holiday shuffle? Decide
what you want to do to help out this year and volunteer now so it won't get
overlooked in December.
Complete your Christmas crafts - If you plan to give any
handcrafted gifts, plan to have them finished by Thanksgiving or even sooner.
Work at it in the evenings or on the weekends until you finish.
Plan holiday menus - Take this time to write out menus for
dinners and family gatherings so you won't have to think about it later. Talk to
other family members now if you’d like them to help out with the cooking. Also,
use this time to experiment with any new holiday recipes.
Decide what to delete - What obligations add to your stress
level each year? What activities would you rather forgo this time? Decide in
advance what activities you want to skip and how you will diplomatically decline
These and many other ideas for enriching the holidays can be found in Nancy
Twigg’s new book, Celebrate Simply: Your Guide to Simpler, More Meaningful
Holidays and Special Occasions (www.celebratesimply.com).
Endorsed by financial guru Dave Ramsey, this book is must-read for anyone
who wants to increase the enjoyment of holidays while decreasing holiday
spending and stress. Paperback, $12.95, 178pgs.