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The Holiday Crunch"Are You Ready??

By Kerry Flinders

The holidays can be hectic and stressful. But honestly, they don't have to be. If you put an organized plan in place to help you get through the holidays you will find that you are less stressed out than you ever imagined.

For children the holidays seem to take forever to arrive. The time between Thanksgiving and all the holidays in December goes by at a snails pace. But as the parents, the adults, we know full well that the time between Thanksgiving and the December holidays flies by at the speed of sound.

Only yesterday my kids and husband informed me that this is their last week of school and work before all of them have 2 weeks off for the holiday. That means that Christmas is less than two weeks away. Unbelievable.

So, with the holidays beating down on our doors how are we to get through the entire season calmly and with a holiday spring in our step? The answer is organization.

If you haven't already sat down right after Thanksgiving to make up your plan of attack for the holiday season then you need to do so now. It's not too late.

What you need to do is write down all the things that still need to be done. List all the presents that still need to be bought, and put a date next to each one for when you need to buy them and wrap them by. Some gifts will be given ON the exact holiday, some will need to be given out before, or even after the holiday itself.

After you've listed all the gifts that still need to be bought, and the time they need to be bought by, be sure to put down the store you need to go to as well.

Next list all the activities that still need to be attended to this holiday season. All the cards that still need to be sent out. All the parties that still need to be enjoyed.

After you have your entire holiday list written out sit down with a calendar"your planner, your wall calendar, even the month of December that you print out on your computer will work for this.

Start filling up the calendar with all the things from your list. Group activities together based on free time and location. If you still need to do gift shopping group all the stores together that are near one another and tackle them together.

Perhaps if you still have holiday cards to get out you can schedule an evening after dinner for the entire family to sit down and work on them together. This will help the cards get done so much faster, and actually will mean a lot to the people who open the card to find the cute chicken scratch of your 4 year old in it.

Be sure to schedule any food shopping you may have for the holidays as well, and schedule it early enough to be sure that you can get all of the needed items for your dishes, in case you have to go to a few different stores. A lot of stores will run out of certain key holiday ingredients this time of year, forcing you to visit another store or two in search of them. So schedule your food shopping early enough.

Another activity you can schedule out is some of the food preparation itself. Can anything you plan on making be made ahead and stored or put in the freezer? When you have little pockets of time in your schedule work on these items.

By having your holiday activities, chores and items all scheduled out down to the minute detail you will be assured that not only will your holiday season run smoothly, not only will you NOT forget to do something this year, but you will also find that you sail through the holiday season without all the usual stress and headache. You will have a better holiday attitude in general.

Also, if you are just getting around to making this list now, with less than 2 weeks until Christmas, be sure to promise yourself to make this list right after Thanksgiving next year. You will be even happier and less stressed out next year if you do so.

One last tip"you can still shop online for your holiday gift giving. Many places will not only ship the items directly to your recipient, but many will also wrap the present and include a card with whatever you want to have printed in it. I do a lot of my shopping online, it is a wonderful time saver, and I have never had even one problem with gift giving this way.

Happy Holidays to everyone"and may you have a healthy and organized New Year.

Kerry Flinders

Organizing Queen! "

Copyright 2005 Kerry Flinders

About The Author

Kerry Flinders is the owner of Personal Organizing Solutions located in Southern California. Kerry and her company are dedicated to helping others organize their clutter and their lives, eliminating unnecessary stress and helping the client to find more time in their day for the things they love. Kerry is the author of the book "Organizing With NO Budget". You can sign up for Kerry's F~REE Organizing Newsletter, or request her F~REE Organizing Tip-Pak by visiting their website at


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