I LOVE THE HOLIDAYS! – For those of you who don’t know me, my husband Dave and I have 5 children and as our family gets older it continues to grow, so now we are 9. Nothing makes me happier than to have the whole gang together.
When you have kids with special needs, Xmas can be an even busier and more tumultuous time. Depending on what your little ones (or big ones) are like, emotions can be running high with anticipation, sleep is in short supply thanks to late night get-togethers and the sugar is flowing – so being organized is my number 1 self-defense strategy.
I know some people are proud to wear the (I do everything last minute badge), but not me! I’m a planner and over the years I plan more and more things further in advance. This helps to alleviate stress and frees up time to spend hanging out when the family all comes together.
For me, it’s all about the lists!
By mid-November start:
- Making Lists for Holiday meals
- Cooking extra to make sure there are quick meals to go – I actually always do thisJ
- Gift giving lists – this way when you see sales come up or see something online or in a store pick it up and check it off the list!
- Pick up a new outfit (or choose something you already have and feel good in) – Xmas Parties, here you come!
- Take sometime to decide who you will support this Xmas – do you have time to serve Xmas Dinner to the Homeless or support a Food Drive? – After all it is the Season of Giving!
By December 1st…
- Purchase foods that can be stored in the freezer. This year we bought pizza, from our daughter’s favourite vegan pizzeria chopped it up into smaller pieces, flash froze it and it’s ready to be re-heated for our snacky-type dinner that we have on Xmas Eve.
Phew! Something for our vegan to eat on Xmas Eve – CHECK!
- Make a list and get to the Liquor store – we don’t drink the hard stuff, but with everyone home for the holidays, a lot of wine and beer can be consumedJ
My latest favourite: On-Line Shopping
Stay tuned for my Helpful Healthy Shopping Guide.
By December 15th…
- Shopping done… Just get it done – if you can’t find it – try not to sweat it – we’ve actually written a letter from Santa to say that the toy was unavailable and/or broke in the sleigh – and they’ll get it in the New Year. I am not kidding – we actually did thisJ
- Baking done – this can be very important for us who have kids with special needs. Fortunately, there are bakeries that specialize in gluten free and vegan options that use ‘better’ versions of sugar. So, if you don’t have time to bake it – buy it and freeze it.
By December 20th
- Stockings will be stuffed and ready to go
- Gifts will be wrapped
- Turkey purchased – tofu stuffed!? (just kidding – gosh having a vegan keeps me on my toes).
December 20th is the cut-off for us this year – family arrives on the 21st. Of course, I’ll still be busy cooking, tidying up / cooking and tidying up again, but I just have to check my lists to remind myself what needs to be done, what needs to be defrosted, heated up, washed and chopped. Plus there will be more hands on deck – to help out.
There will always be last minute things that need to be done, but if you’ve been organizing since November… whatever goes a miss, just let it go.
Interested in more helpful Holiday Tips, you can check out my blog from last year.