Pace Your Prep

Four Weeks of Planning to Fizzle the Holiday Frazzle

Don’t let the holidays happen to you—avoid havoc by getting out the calendar and making a plan. Break the cycle of hustle and bustle by pacing your preparation over the next four weeks.

For a meaningful and peaceful month ahead, it’s just as important to remove some events from your schedule as it is to add some. To determine what truly makes your holidays bright, consult your loved ones and decide which events will make the cut this year. Reflect on past celebrations to remember the difference between the stressful, nice-to-dos and the favorite memory-making moments. Allow time for wonder and joy. Enjoy tried-and-true traditions and explore new adventures. 

With a little bit of organization and a lot of intention, you’ll be on your merry way through December. So, make your lists and check them twice, because ready or not, here come the winter holidays. Follow this week by week guide to fizzle the holiday frazzle. 

Week One

Take inventory of the gifts, wrap and decor you already have in storage. Plan travel and social events. Order any tickets, bakery items and specialty meats. Make time to make merry: put on a holiday playlist and deck the halls.

Week Two

Organize a gift-wrapping station complete with tags and ribbons. Plan menus and stock the fridge and bar with non-perishables. Select outfits for special events: launder and press in preparation. Purchase, wrap and mail gifts—don’t forget teachers, coaches and neighbors. 

Week Three

Deep clean. Donate used toys and clothes to make room for new. Buy or charge batteries for electronic gifts. Keep a couple of spare, wrapped presents on hand for surprise guests. Bundle up and enjoy a tour of local light displays.

Week Four

Make a final grocery trip for fresh fruits, veggies and other perishables. Bake cookies for loved ones, including Santa. Relax and sip hot cocoa by a fire as you read your holiday mail. Soak in the spirit of the season.

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