Do yourself a favor and wrap presents as you buy them this holiday season. “That’s easy for you to say Mrs. Organization. You do this kind of stuff for a living.” Yes, it is easy for me to say, but it was only a short while ago that I had a corporate, butt-in-seat job. I know how difficult time management can be when you work in a traditional environment and have kids breathing down your neck when you’re not at work. So, here are some solutions to that:
1. Set up a card table in your home office, guest bedroom, or basement close the door, and get to wrapping. I did it this way for years and threatened the kids with no gifts if they tried to come in. They never attempted to come in, but they did hover around the door talking to me the whole time.
2. Take your gifts and wrapping paraphernalia to work and do it on your lunch hour in a conference room. Imagine how excited the kids will be when you walk in at the end of the day with your arms full of gift wrapped treasures to put under the tree.
3. Get a friend to watch your kids for an hour while you wrap and then do the same for them.
4. If you can afford it, gift bags are a super fast way to get those gifts “wrapped” and then stuff them with tissue paper. Done and done.
Also, with the stocking stuffers … if you are like me you have many collected long before the holiday season even begins. I have bins in a closet that are filled with the current year’s stocking stuffers – one per family member and no names on the bins so as not to give anything away. Then on Christmas Eve, Santa puts the contents of each bin right into the stocking and complete. This also helps me tell easily who still needs stuff.
Are you hosting this year? Is it your first year or your 30th year hosting? Are you comfortable with people standing around your kitchen while you cook? Or do you prefer that they go play tag football at the local park? Are you comfortable assigning tasks to those hanging about in your kitchen? Or would you prefer to do it all yourself? Do you fly by the seat of your pants or do you have a precise schedule of what goes in the oven and when taped to your cabinet? However you answer these questions, it’s the right answer. No matter how you slice it, hosting Thanksgiving dinner is stressful. So remember that you are allowed to kick your guests out of your kitchen, politely of course, if that’s how you prefer to get it on the table. It’s okay to put Aunt Joan to work making the salad (don’t use romaine this year) and Uncle Ricky to work grating cheese and cousin Sheila to work putting the finishing touches on the table.
Just remember, whatever works for you is right. Nobody gets to decide how you put dinner on the table except you.
And, if you already have solid traditions where everyone knows their role, don’t forget about newcomers to your table: fiancé’s, girlfriends or boyfriends, college roommates, new neighbors … help them feel included too. Create a role for them, or have them share a task with someone. Don’t park them in the corner to be held captive by grandpa’s stories from 50 years ago that everyone else has heard 100 times. Remember Thanksgiving can be difficult without family around and the fact that they are sharing yours is truly special.
I’m glad you’re here. I would like to help you organize your home so that it’s an oasis for you. Do you come home and feel tense because things are out of place, you can’t find that one thing you know you have and you need it? Do you have children who can’t seem to put anything away? Does your spouse wander around confused because he/she doesn’t know where something goes? I can change all of that for you. See my list of services for more information or call or email for help: 720-231-6925 or firstname.lastname@example.org.