It's About Time
Yuletide planning starting now
In song, what is "the most wonderful time of the year"? It's meant to be a time of joy and blessing but often becomes a time of stress and strain.
In a recent MidWeek magazine, passers-by were asked which holiday they dreaded the most. Two of the three said they dreaded Christmas because of the cost of presents and the traffic, rushing and crowds.
Are you among the many who rush around in a last-minute frenzy and vow that "next year it's going to be different -- next year I'm going to start earlier"?
With the holiday season around the corner, that "next year" is here!
I, for one, am ready for a change. Last year found me scrambling more than usual.
Sending cards to friends far and near is an important tradition for me. Last year I was truly late. I couldn't find my Christmas card address list, so I was sending out cards as I received them. It was hit or miss, and I missed a lot of friends, as I have too many cards left over!
One way to make this year different is to start earlier. Organizer Marcia Ramsland suggests that instead of Thanksgiving we use Halloween as a starting point for holiday preparation as there are exactly eight weeks between Halloween and Christmas.
She recommends that at that eight-week point, one-third of the shopping and wrapping be done; two-thirds by seven weeks; and all of it done six weeks ahead. Wow, how organized can one be?
Gift giving has been greatly simplified for me because on one side of the family, we exchange names of charities.
It's important to identify which holiday traditions are important to you and your family. Having a decorated home is important to me as I love the festive setting and change of color scheme.
Since time was short last year, I applied the 80/20 Rule to decorating. I asked myself which few decorations give 80 percent of the holiday impact. I decided it was three things: a large lit wreath in the entry, my large Christmas wall quilt and a large, decorated fresh tree. It was simple yet effective.
The holidays should be a blessed time, not a stressed time. As food stylist Sarah Foster says, "The key is to get things done over a period of time and not have to cram it all into a couple of furious days."
By getting a head start on the holidays, let's discover anew the joys of "the most wonderful time of the year."
See you in two weeks!
Ruth Wong owns Organization Plus. Contact her care of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu 96813, call 488-0288 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org