This year I’m feeling like I’m going to be ready for Christmas. Usually I’m so busy working and running around, the house gets neglected until Christmas Eve. But this time I’m ready! The tree is up (not decorated yet – I’m not THAT organized!), my cards are addressed (just have to sign them and add a little personal note to some of them), most of my gifts are purchased, and I have some decorations up. The house is in fairly good shape, too. I could almost write an article for a woman’s magazine on “Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday”. Here are my top five:
Tip #5: Get the kids out of the house
Now that the youngest is 22, we are officially “empty nesters”. It gets a little quiet sometimes, but the music I hear is stuff that I choose. I watch the TV shows I want (after the hubby goes to bed). And the running around I do is for me, not them. The only downside of it is the realization that all the clutter around here is mine, and I can’t blame the mess on anyone but me!
Tip #4: Let your fingers do the walking
eBay is my friend. So is anything with “dot com” after its name. Especially when they offer free shipping!
Tip #3: Hire cleaning help
Grandkids are great for this, especially when they need money. I usually spend two hours putting stuff away (stuff I don’t want them to see or break) before they come over, so the house gets neater as well as cleaner.
Tip #2: Teach the spouse how to use major household appliances
I’m lucky because my husband has always done most of the cooking. But when he retired, he got bored. I introduced him to the washer and dryer. Now he never complains about wrinkled shirts, mismatched socks, or pink underwear. Once he was well acquainted with them, I brought the dishwasher to his attention. Now they’re best friends. The sink and countertop are always clear. Next year I’ll try the more advanced tools, like the vacuum and maybe a dust mop.
Tip #1: Postpone Christmas until January
This is a major stress reducer. Two of our five kids will be out of town during Christmas week, so we’re having our family Christmas on January 2. The trick is not telling my brain that I have extra time. So if I THINK I have to be ready by December 25 and I’m not actually done until a week later, I’ll actually be on time!
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I finally got some sewing done! Here are some of my stockings. I’ll just have to fill them before the grandkids come.