Organizing Blog

Simply Happy Holidays



  • $1 billion dollars is the amount of money left on unused gift cards. If you have gift cards hanging around don’t let them go to waste! Even if the card is for a store you aren’t likely to shop, there are lots of websites where you can trade them for ones you will use. is one.  Use the balances to buy holiday gifts.
  • Each year, more than 3 billion Christmas cards are sent in the US alone.
  • Household waste increases 25% between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. 

Many of us anticipate the arrival of the holiday season with a mix of excitement and anxiety. Somewhere in the mad dash to the New Year, the traditions of decorating, special gatherings and shopping can give way to stress, overspending and fatigue. A lot goes on this time of year, inside and out. If some of your traditions are stressing you out, consider simplifying your holidays so that you can enjoy them. 

Take a few minutes and really consider what is most meaningful to you and write it down--make a list. Talk with your family and friends about what is most meaningful to them and add it to the list. Don’t forget to discuss things that don’t add joy to your holiday. It’s ok to say no to events that you won’t look forward to attending. Are there things you wish you could do? List all projects: cards, tree trimming, home decorating, baking, shopping, special meals and be specific!

Now assign every item on the list a priority; have to do, really want to do, nice to do.

Step back from it all and take a deep breath while you get out your calendar. First, put all the “have to’s” on the calendar. Next, add the “want to’s”. Take a look at your calendar.  Remember, scheduling every minute seldom works out well. Leave time for spontaneous celebrations. You don’t want to feel as though you are running from one event to another. Keep your list of “nice to’s” near your calendar to add where time permits.

The next step is essential. Establish the details for each event on your calendar. What are the costs? Each activity should have a budget. Who will attend? If the event is a meal, add a shopping task. Put someone in charge of each event. Note: your name should not appear next to all events or you may find yourself feeling stressed. Spread the work and spread the fun!

Put your own special touches on each event. There are so many ways to make holidays your own. Include everyone in events that connect the group in a special way. For example; a family photo in a favorite place, a traditional family beverage, a holiday movie or game, a special charity, family interviews, cooking a holiday meal together, sharing recipes, having a family photo swap.

Lastly, start new habits. In a time full of tradition it is not impossible to pass along an open mind, schedule and heart. It’s never too late. It starts with an idea that leads to a conversation and ends with a new experience. Even a small change can make a big difference. Don’t be paralyzed by perfection! A perfect holiday is not about material gifts; it’s about connecting with family and friends in a meaningful way. Don’t get carried away trying to buy perfection. Experiences make thoughtful gifts that don’t add clutter to anyone’s space. Consider tickets to a play, memberships to clubs, zoos, museums, lessons in languages, dance or music, gift certificates to restaurants, movies, massages, manicures, babysitting or pet sitting services. There are endless possibilities. You CAN have a simply happy holiday!