While famously coined “the most wonderful time of the year”, the holiday season can also be a very stressful time for some. With so many moving parts and interruptions to your regular schedule, it can feel challenging to stay on top of everything. Here are our five few tips for staying organized so you can actually enjoy the holidays.

1. Prioritize events and activities

Between work functions, Christmas recitals, family gatherings and parties with friends, it can easily start to feel like there is no way to do it all.

We suggest gathering as a household to discuss each member’s prefered activities, and making a schedule for the whole family. This way you can pick and choose the events that are most important to everyone without overloading.

For the tech savvy family, try creating a shared calendar that can be synced on your devices, that way everyone will be aware of changes as they happen. Google calendar is a great option that is free for anyone with a Gmail account.

While it may seem like cutting events isn’t an option, remember that you won’t be able to enjoy these activities if you’re run down and tired. You’re most likely to get in the holiday spirit if you’re able to enjoy the moment you’re in, without rushing through to the next one!

2. Include down time

When scheduling holiday activities, make sure to keep a few days free for rest, and to recenter.

As things ramp up, you’ll be relieved to have a day off from your holiday plans. Try to schedule something like a family movie night and spend some time cuddled up watching your favourite holiday flick, or maybe an afternoon of baking and decorating cookies.

For those with young children, keep in mind that tired kids and busy holiday plans do not mix well. Make sure your little ones aren’t overwhelmed or under-rested by planning for lots of downtime between activities.

3. Setup a dedicated wrapping area

We highly recommend setting up a designated wrapping station in your home to keep things from ending up all over the place. If you find bows, gift bags and tape littered all over your home during the holidays, it can add to your stress and make your home feel cluttered.

By dedicating a space to wrapping, you can avoid the clutter and keep everything organized in one area. If you have a spare room in your home that’s available, you’ll be able to close the door and wrap gifts in secret.

We also suggest putting on some sort of entertainment while wrapping to help pass the time. Maybe turn up the holiday tunes or watch a Christmas special on TV. Even better, get another family member or friend to join you for a spiked eggnog!

4. Keep a (secret) list

Once gift shopping begins it can be easy to forget what you have or haven’t gotten, especially if you’re hiding things in different places. Last thing anyone wants to realize the day before Christmas, is that you forgot to buy something from your loved ones wish list.

Keep a secret list of gifts and note which have been purchased and where they’ve been hidden. If you’ve got peering eyes in your household, try giving the file an inconspicuous title such as “Quarterly Reports”, or keep a note tucked into your wallet.

5. Remember Christmas spirit

Our final tip is to remember that the holidays aren’t about gifts, parties, or decorations. The holidays may look different for everyone, but no matter your beliefs, we can all agree that it is a time of celebrating, giving to others, being thankful, and spreading that magic that can only be found at this time of year!

Slow down and enjoy it!

We hope these tips help get you organized this holiday season so you can relax and enjoy the fun!

Happy holidays from the Lisa Hartsink Team!