The holidays can be a very busy time of year. Having a master event list (also known as a Calendar) can ease the stress and exhaustion that comes from being overextended. Here is how to create one:
Start with a blank calendar. I generally print one out of my PDA software, or use an online calendar generator (Google calendar generator for suggestions). This year I printed the calendar for November and December, because I will start the holiday season on Thanksgiving (the US Holiday that is the last Thursday of November).
Next, write on the calendar, in ink, the holidays you will be celebrating. These will not change in date, and you may not celebrate them on that day, but it can help when you are scheduling other things. For instance, I know better than to brave the mobs on the day after Thanksgiving, so I make sure I have nothing scheduled that day that would require me to go anywhere near a store.
Next you will want to put in the events that are already scheduled, or that you always do. We will eat a big dinner on Thanksgiving Day, and celebrate Solstice on the 21st. My daughter will participate in the pageant at church, so that means we have rehearsals on the two Sunday afternoons before Christmas as well as the actual performance for Christmas eve. My musical gigs that I am committed to are also on the calendar.
Things You Traditionally Do
Next make a list of the things that you traditionally do that can be done during a number of times during the season. We go to see the lights at the beach at some point during the season. We also try to visit the local art museum as a respite from all the decorations of the season. We will also watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” on some Friday evening during the season.
Things You Have Done Before
Perhaps there are things that you have done before that you would like to do again. Or not. Add to the list of events anything you would like to do. In my case, I am going to host a cookie exchange at some point in the two weeks before Christmas.
If there is something on your list that did not go over well from previous years, remove it. We used to go to the mall on a Sunday and select my daughter’s ornament. However, this was stressful for all of us as we battled the parking and crowds. We now do this as a mother-daughter event on a Monday evening, and we go to a locally-owned store and take our time browsing.
Putting It All Together
Once you have the list, start figuring out target dates for the things you would like to do. Put these in pencil on the calendar and consult your family members! Remember, that like a The Budget, this is a target.
Photo by topher76