Okay---wanted to share something else I received in my email....
How to love the holidays without loosing your mind.
It’s that special time of year that everyone loves…and hates. We all look forward to the holidays, filled with special memories, tasty food and family gatherings. We want the season to be "flawless" and tend to drive ourselves crazy trying to achieve perfection! Before you reach for the antacid, grab a calendar, a pad of paper and a pen, and plan for a stress-free holiday season.
First be realistic. Don't try to cram every holiday tradition you've ever heard of into one season.
Plan activities that are meaningful to your family; sometimes the simplest times bring the best memories.
Go for the gold, not the glitter. Take time to establish a working plan, using your calendar. List everything that comes to mind. Be sure to include the family in your planning strategies.
Learn to delegate, and let others’ creative abilities shine.
You want the season to bring you together, not send everyone into opposite directions. The following helpful suggestions will keep you organized, calm and out of the running to be one more nut in the fruitcake! Be the shopping queen!
Don't let gift-buying get the best of you. Again, start with a plan.
Consider theme gifts such as gardening pails, food or book-lovers’ baskets, and get-away packages.
Scour catalogs for ideas and place orders early.
Avoid the malls on weekends and the day after Thanksgiving. Unless you love being in the crush of shoppers, leave “Black Friday” to the hard-core shoppers. Rather than spending hours in line to get a bargain, try internet shopping. You'll find just as many bargains, often with free shipping. Kick back with an eggnog and stock up on gifts…all in the comfort of your own home.
“He who hesitates is lost" and she who procrastinates is wrapping gifts at midnight on Christmas Eve. Wrap your gifts as you purchase them. It will eliminate a marathon wrapping session and keep curious eyes at bay.
Pare down the Christmas card list. If you haven't heard from your high school lab partner for ten years, it’s probably okay not to send a card this year.
Consider putting your card list in a database or spreadsheet. Printing the envelopes on your printer will save time and look very professional. All you have to do is sign, stuff and stamp.
Don't let the cookie crumble.
Holiday baking is a joy, not a chore. Make dishes that can be prepared ahead of time and frozen.
Prebake festive desserts to serve to special guests. Many cookie batters can be refrigerated; whip up a batch or two during the week after dinner and refrigerate in plastic bags.
Mark cooking instructions on the bags. Then, plan an “all day bake” session with no muss and nothing to clean but the cookie sheets.
Spend some time enjoying the outdoors. Go for a walk in a nearby park.
Take a drive to admire the neighborhood lights.
Go sledding with the kids.
Remember why you loved the holidays as a child and re-create the fun.
Give peace a chance. Revel in the small, quiet moments.
Allow yourself at least 30 minutes of quiet time every day. You'll have time to recharge, and your outlook will remain positive.
Don't over-extend yourself or your plans.
Remember, Santa is the only one who gets everything done in one night!
When the holidays are over, sit back and breathe a sigh of relief.
But don't get too comfortable…New Year’s plans are just around the corner!