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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Simplify Christmas - Part 2 - Scheduling

What's Christmas without the Christmas lights?!
FAMILY MEETING TIME!  That's the husband and kids together today, tomorrow or as soon as possible.  Get your family calendar and get to work!  There's no time to lose!

Part of the stress of the holiday season is all the activities that are planned during such a short period of time.  Office parties, school parties, family get-togethers, church activities and parties, neighborhood parties, parties with special friends, trips to see the Christmas lights, the annual production of The Nutcracker, the annual Messiah Sing-along, caroling, visiting care facilities, volunteering, the annual Cookie Exchange...I know I'm forgetting things but you get the idea.  Add the number of family members in your home and the list explodes faster than you can say, "Merry Christmas!"  To stay sane, you HAVE to get in control of your (and your family's) time.

Start by sitting everyone down (with a nice cup of hot cocoa and a plate of cookies) and begin writing every activity, party and obligation during the month of December on your family calendar.  Every member of the family needs to contribute.   What does your calendar look like now?  Probably pretty crazy!  Is it any wonder why you feel stressed this time of year? 

Now the hard part.  Prioritize the events.  Most likely, you'll find conflicting activities on one or more nights.  Talk about it.  Come up with a plan.  Work together as a family.  Some things lower on the priority list might have to be sacrificed for something more important.  Decide as a family how many and which activities you want to be participate in.  When cutting back though, make sure that everyone gets to do at least ONE of the special activities they added to the calendar. 

The purpose of this exercise is to make time for the things that are important for each member of the family and still have time for quality home time.  It's hard to have that quality time when you're running like crazy all over the city!  Take a little time now and the rest of the month will go smoother.


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