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2012-12-21 at 11:31

Opinion: Hassle-free holiday

By J.R. Shermack, for
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There is a small group of Canadians known as “Christmas year-rounders” who spend 12 months of the year preparing for the big day.  They never miss a Boxing Day sale and they buy their gift wrap in early January.

They have usually finished all their Christmas shopping by early June.  By late October their freezers are already full of home made goodies, both sweet and savory.

All they have to do is sit back and wait for Christmas to arrive.  They’ve been following this routine for years and they always enjoy a hassle free holiday.

But for the rest of us the hustle and bustle of the season is a little more challenging.  Unless you are lucky enough to have a year-rounder in the family, the middle two weeks of December can be very hectic.

Contrary to what we are told by the Grinch, Christmas doesn’t just happen.  It takes hard work and dedication to create a joyous and memorable holiday season for the family. 

Most people don’t have the time or the inclination to pull it off anymore.  We are much too busy to enjoy the true meaning of Christmas.  You know – peace, love, happiness and all that.

If you feel more stressed than blessed at this time of year you should consider spending a few days at Santa’s Boot Camp – a 5-day interactive organizing seminar designed to help you prepare for the holidays.

There is also a shorter Christmas Organizing Bee, described as a 3-day adventure to eat, live and breathe all things Christmas. 

These are just two tools available on line to harried consumers who need help getting ready for the holidays.  The difference between a dynamite Christmas and a ho-hum holiday may just be a matter of training and event planning. 

There is a plan to satisfy everybody’s Christmas organizational needs.  The Christmas Countdown is a classic holiday organizing plan. This checklist takes you from holiday zero to sixty in December in just six short weeks.

The Houseworks Holiday Plan incorporates festive chores into an 18-week whole house cleaning plan beginning in August.

If you prefer to combine house cleaning with holiday prep the Houseworks Holiday Plan might work for you.  For example, this plan enables you to inventory your Christmas holiday linens while performing your assigned chores during bed and bath week.

Finally, membership in The Rudolph Club is recommended for serious holiday planners only, perhaps even Christmas year-rounders.  Members meet on the 25th to tackle one holiday chore each month all year long.

Planning tools like these will take all the guesswork and unexpected surprises out of Christmas.  That may be fine for some but I like that magical, mysterious feeling that comes with hope and anticipation.

Personally, I try to be organized but the only thing I do in advance is the outdoor lights which I put up about 10 years ago.  I plug them in every Dec. 1.

But other than that, I usually just wing it.  I feel that unexpected guests and special surprises make the holidays more spontaneous and memorable.

A few years ago the power went out unexpectedly on Christmas Day.  Dinner was already on the table so we enjoyed our turkey with all the trimmings by candle light. 

That evening was more enjoyable and meaningful than we could ever have planned.

We learned, with thanks again to Mr. Grinch, that even if you aren’t concerned with all the hard work and planning and even if the power goes off and the lights go out, Christmas will still come and it will be better than ever.

Merry Christmas to all.  


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Razor_burn says:
12/29/2012 10:59:13 PM
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