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Holiday Helps and Hints for the Head-of-House

Right about now the main domestician in every home is starting to feel more stress than cheer. Everyone depends on this person to clean, shop, cook, decorate, plan parties, wrap gifts… and the list goes on, and on. Needless to say, this person can find the holidays turn into drudgery instead of a celebration unless they’re clever. This article is intended to help.

Step one is starting early. At the end of October make a complete list of everything you know from experience you want handled, and a deadline for each. Be very reasonable with your expectations, remembering that your holiday need not look like it came out of a magazine.

Additionally, build in some bumper room for things like winter colds, unexpected visitors, and weather delays (as well as “no work” days so you don’t burn out).

As you build this list, prioritize it and consider if there’s some tasks you can delegate out to other family members. Just because you’ve done it all before doesn’t mean you can’t start new traditions.

You may even discover your family will be excited about being more included. Also consider those projects that you can do any time and then put them aside for later, like writing out cards. Do these while you’re watching a favorite TV show, a little every day, and then tuck them away until its time to mail them. Ta da! One item off your list.

Since you’re making a list for yourself, it might be nice to help your family get in the groove too.

If you have children, now’s the time to get their hands busy with decorating projects or any home made gifts they want to devise for family or friends. Like you, they can work on their projects over a whole month to avoid irritation (or worse, they loose interest altogether).

Throughout these projects, the domestician should only help when asked. Otherwise, let them be! Just like the house, the little imperfections also make the gifts very real and treasured for the effort involved.

Finally, don’t forget to shop early and utilize the wonders of the Internet. It may well be that you won’t need to step foot in a store but for groceries! Watch those sites where you can get great sales and free shipping in particular, that way the money you’d spend on gas for driving around goes into gifts. Better still – no crowds, no need to dress, and you can even ask for wrapping!

Happy, stress-free Holidays!

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