Monday, August 29, 2011

Lists, Lists, and More Lists

The key to holiday organization is list writing.  I am convinced this is why the Holiday Grand Plan begins with "List Week".  Our "not so grand" plan will do the same.  If you're at all like me, this will be your favorite part of your holiday planning.  I have a list fetish.  I will take advantage of any opportunity I get to write and organize a list.  This is largely due to the fact that I am a very visual person.  Once I see something on paper, I stand a much better chance of remembering it.  But that isn't the only benefit.  Writing things down allows me to periodically purge some of the million thoughts rolling around in my head at any given moment.  Let's face it, women multitask.  If we  can manage to do 15 things at once, how many more things can we manage to think about? 

That is why we are starting with lists.  The sheer volume of "things to do" in preparation of the holidays can be overwhelming and can stifle progress simply because there is just too much to think about.  We won't let it stop us!  Find a spot where you can be alone for a few minutes (remember, your closet is viable option).  Throw on some Christmas music if it will help you get "into the mood".  Grab some sheets of notebook paper and your favorite pen.  Let's get started...

Create the following lists:
  • Gifts to give
  • Christmas card list
  • Travel/Visits
  • Goodies for sharing
  • Menus for Thanksgiving & Christmas (don't forget Christmas Eve and Christmas morning)
  • Favorite meals to freeze
  • Long term shopping list: canned food, perishables per holiday, linens/tableware, decorations.
It may seem silly to start preparing your menus and shopping lists this far in advance, but remember, once it's on paper, you no longer have to think about it.   You can also take advantage of upcoming sales, especially on canned goods and other non-perishables.  I've already started stocking my pantry with some key Thanksgiving ingredients.

Don't be afraid to pull out some of those rarely used cookbooks and magazines and plan to make something different that you've always wanted to try.  We have time to be creative, so take advantage!  Jot down as much as you can.  These lists aren't set in stone so change them as you need to. 

Congratulations!  You've got a game plan!  And more importantly, you've just taken your first step in making your holiday season smoother and much more enjoyable.   Now, be honest.  You already feel better, don't you?

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