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I’m going to be honest…sometimes I have to laugh at myself because I will look at something I’ve written and think, “That is brilliant! What a great idea!” And I am giddy because I get to follow my own advice. That is exactly about how I am feeling about my guest post “4-Week Guide To Getting Christmas Done” over at Crafty Night Owls. (You can read that post here.)

Like you, I am BUSY. Gone are the days when I had Christmas shopped for and wrapped on the eve of Thanksgiving. Because I have so many wonderful and meaningful things in my life, I have had to learn to distinguish between things that are “good” and things that are “best,” and this has particular application to my approach to Christmas. For example, Christmas cards are good, but Christmas presents for my children on Christmas morning are best. And I am getting better and better about being realistic with my time and my energy. I am simply no longer willing to sacrifice my sleep or my emotional and mental well-being just so that my holiday season matches the picture-perfect Christmas in my head. The stress and anxiety aren’t worth it. “Christmas doesn’t have to look a certain way,” I told the readers over at Crafty Night Owl. And I encouraged them to simplify and include only the parts of Christmas that are the most meaningful. In addition to that wonderful bit of advice, I want to offer you an additional few resources that can help organize your holiday experience, so you are freed up to enjoy those simple moments that will never come again. Here are a few of my best tips:

Freezer Meals

With all of the hustle and bustle, healthy dinners usually fall by the wayside. This is your reminder to not sell out on your health goals just because you are busy. Look over your schedule while you are planning out your menu for the week (Click here for great menu-planning advice) and pick simple recipes for busy nights. One of my best tips is using freezer meals. (And don’t give me that look! You know me…I would never ask you to eat something soggy or gross.) See my post with tips on making freezer meals here, and be sure to check out my new cookbook Healthy Eating The Happy Gal Way. It’s full of incredibly delicious recipes that make fresh and appealing freezer meals. Check out the cookbook here.

Organize Gift Wrap

If there was ever a time to organize the wrapping supplies, it is now. How many times will you search for the paper, scissors, tape, ribbons and tags this holiday season? This $11.99 product will keep it all in one place, then slide conveniently under the bed to utilize un-usable storage. It can’t get better than this! Click here to order.

Gift Wrap Organizer

Receipts Win this battle once and for all! You’ll be needing these Christmas receipts for the next few months, so be prepared with a fun place to put them! This tabbed and zippered wallet is the perfect way to keep receipts with you in your purse in an organized way at all times. Organize the tabs by store or by person you are shopping for. Click here to order.

Track Presents

It happens every year. I stash away Christmas gifts in every nook and cranny, and when it comes time to wrap, there’s always a few things I can’t find. This year, pick one place to hide everything, or make a note about it’s hiding place on the Christmas list I suggested you make (read about it on the “4-Week Guide to Getting Christmas Done.) Nothing is more frustrating than the fruitless search for an important Christmas gift!

Party Food

‘Tis the season of pot-luck! Save yourself a lot of stress and time by planning what you’ll take to parties when you are planning the rest of your food for the week. During your weekly menu planning, plan and shop for those favorite holiday recipes you’ll be making throughout the week. And if you need any ideas, be sure to check out my Healthy & Delicious Holiday Recipes here.

These five tips might be just what you need to help your holiday season be a little merrier. And if you have a particular challenge each holiday season that I didn’t address, please post about it in the comments below. I’m sure that with a little bit of thought and planning, we can come up with a solution that will eliminate some of the stress!

3 Responses

  1. Love these ideas! More organization = less stress, especially this time of year! Another thing I do is utilize an app on my iPhone to organize wish lists, check things off as I purchase them, and keep track of what I’ve budgeted and spent on each person

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