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Halloween is already in the rear view mirror.   Which means that Thanksgiving, and then THE holiday season is right around the corner.  Yup.  I said it.  Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and the New Year in rapid succession.  Do the coming holidays fill you with excitement and joy as well as dread and overwhelm?  If you’re like most people, the holidays are a season of both fun and friction so here are some tips to stay organized over the holiday season to find more joy and less Grinch.

Write it down.

On the calendar.  On a to-do list.  On your gift list.  Being forced to remember all the tasks and events we are responsible for is stressful.  All through the year, we manage varying priorities in our work and home lives but the holiday time ramps that up significantly.  With those additional responsibilities comes overwhelm.  We don’t function optimally under stress so we forget things.  By writing it down, we can plan and organize better.  Add the company holiday outing to the family calendar.   Jot down on your shopping list the baking and cooking supplies you need for the holidays.   Keep your gift list handy so you can add the neighbor who kindly shovels you out every storm and pick up a gift card in appreciation.  Don’t force yourself to keep all of this in your head because it’s noisy and crowded up there.  Organize your time and projects.

Start now, today.

Yes, we hate seeing the winter holiday decorations in the stores in September and we vow not to jump into the over-commercialization of the season.  And yet it’s not too early to plan and organize what you’ll be needing soon.  Visiting a craft fair in the coming weeks?  Pick up a few great holiday gifts.  And yes, it’s okay to get duplicates of the same item because you don’t need to recreate the wheel for each gift.  Will you need extra extension cords for the holiday lights?  Pick up a couple of extra the next time you’re at the home improvement store so you’re not running around at the last minute.

Organizing and planning can go a long way in making your holidays merry and bright…

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