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How to Conquer Your Holiday Calendar

If your family is anything like mine, you are naturally social butterflies! This is so good for connection and networking and filling your cup, but all the social commitments can easily get out of hand and leave you feeling drained and heavy instead of joyful and jolly.

When all the events of the holidays clog up your normal social calendar, it’s hard to get a handle on things. Having a plan in place ahead of time can save your sanity and help you commit to events with confidence that you will show up as the best version of you.

1. Decide what events are most important for you and your family. Not everyone else, just you. Day Care cookie exchange? Daughter’s Holiday Ballet performance? The idea here is to prevent double booking to keep your sanity.

2. Decide what traditions you want to keep. If these are events that need a spot on your calendar, put them on first. Christmas Eve at Grandmas? Lock it in.

These traditions don’t necessarily have to happen on a particular day, but sometimes they do. They can be something as simple as baking holiday cookies, cutting down a Christmas tree, volunteering at a food bank, or a trip to San Francisco for focaccia bread (like my Step-Mom). Things that you ALWAYS do during the holidays but don’t necessarily have a specific date. Unless they do, like the SF trip on Christmas Eve. Put these things on the calendar if they are important.

3. I suggest limiting activities to no more than 3 major events per week during the holidays. It’s so easy to over-commit and burn yourself out.

Especially if you have young kids, or LOTS of kids, its easy for them all to have things planned on the same week at conflicting times. Make a hard rule that, as a family, you can only commit to a certain number of events per week. I recommend 3 because that’s what I can personally handle, but find your magic number.

4. Schedule time for selecting and wrapping gifts ahead of time. If you know what’s on your calendar, you will be able to have gifts ready in advance.

Teacher gifts, hostess gifts, your son’s best friend’s mom. Decide who you’re going ti give gifts to outside the obvious. Take some time to brainstorm, set a budget and make a date to get these all together. Your life will be much easier when you’re getting ready for the event when you already have a gift ready instead of scrambling at the last minute.

5. Handle unexpected change of events or last minute invites by prioritizing and communicating what’s most important and how it will effect the future schedule. Make sure you and your partner or family are on the same page.

Whatever your plans for the holiday season, make sure to take time to reflect, and really focus on what the holidays are all about - family and connection.

That's what really matters.

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