01 Dec Turn December Chaos to Calm
Relaxing with loved ones, enjoying the lights and sounds of the seasons, the kitchen filled with delicious smells, laughter and merriment abounding, while Christmas music plays joyfully in the background.
Sounds like your typical Holiday Season, doesn’t it? Well, maybe for Norman Rockwell.
It seems that from Thanksgiving through the end of the year, everything goes into high gear and what should be an enjoyable season becomes very stressful instead. If you’re like me, you think to yourself, “This isn’t how I imagined the holidays. Each year, I say it’s not going to be like this, and each year it ends up exactly the same way: Chaos wrapped up with a bow!”
Well, I say “Take the Bow by the Horns,” or something like that. It doesn’t have to be chaotic. Have a different Holiday Season this year! And following are suggestions as to how to counter the chaos.
Limit your commitments. You don’t have to say “Yes” to every holiday party invitation that comes your way. Be choosy. In fact, choose yourself, choose your loved ones, instead of choosing the obligation of the season.
Limit your traditions to just a few this year. They are wonderful, but not if they bring stress — that negates the whole point of traditions, which are supposed to be meaningful and happy memories.
Limit the pressure you put on yourself. You don’t have to be Martha Stewart in gift-giving, gift-wrapping, meal cooking, or meal presentation. Your loved ones don’t care about that, they care about you and the time you have to spend with them.
Buy the latest Fun Family Game to play with friends and family. It’s a simple, affordable, and memorable way to relax and enjoy the season, and it usually includes laughter, which is a bonus! Some of our family favorites are: Would You Rather, Apples to Apples, PicWits, Bubble Talk, Spoons, Guesstures, Cranium, and the good-old-fashioned jigsaw puzzle.
Now, if you want to get a leg-up on your New Year’s Resolution, here are some pointers.
Professional Organizers see an up-tick in clients in January (hello, New Year’s Resolutions), April (Spring Cleaning, of course), and September (Back to School = Back to Order). But, there’s still much that can be accomplished in the other nine months. Even in December! Here are some ideas to be tackled in December, which will make room for any new items received from Santa Claus.
Dedicate one hour to sorting through one of the following categories: clothes, toys, kitchen, or linens. During this time of year, there are many people in need and your excess “stuff” can be a huge blessing to someone else.
It’s fun to make it a family event where everyone has their area to sort through and decide what’s not needed anymore. Place the “donate” items into bags, boxes or bins while listening to Christmas music, and at the end of the hour, celebrate your accomplishment with hot cocoa or egg nog, and feelings of good cheer! After you have this first hour-long session under your “Santa belt,” schedule another hour on a different day. You’ll find it’s so rewarding to release yourself of this “stuff” and simultaneously give to others in need.
There are several donation stations in our area. The Hope Center on 281 near Highway 46, Goodwill and Salvation Army on 281 near Stone Oak, and the CRRC on the east side of Canyon Lake in Sattler.
And, the added benefit of doing this purging in December is that you’ll be leaps and bounds ahead in your January New Year’s Resolution to be more organized!