When my daughter, Michele, was three years old, she stayed home with Daddy while I went Christmas shopping with a girlfriend. Of course, we didn’t get started shopping until we had put in a full day’s work. When I finally got home well after 10 pm, my girlfriend and I walked through the door with our arms full of packages and shopping bags.
All of a sudden, my little girl pops up, puts her finger to her mouth and says, “Shhh, Daddy’s sleeping!”
It was one of those moments where I was totally frazzled and exhausted but couldn’t help laughing hysterically. Now that I think about it, I wonder if there was a concierge to do my Christmas shopping for me more than 20 years ago!
According the National Retail Federation, American families will spend an average of $684 on holiday gifts this year. That’s a lot of stuff. And a lot of time shopping.
Even if you do most of your shopping online, it doesn’t happen in one sitting. You also have to open packages as they arrive at your door and keep everything organized.
I don’t think I’ve ever met a person who wraps gifts as they buy them, so you should set aside at least a couple of hours for wrapping. Of course, you have to buy wrapping paper, gift bags, tape and tags.
Is your card list up to date? Has anyone moved? Are you planning to design and order cards with photos of your kids or grandkids? You’ll have to allow an extra week or so to have them printed and shipped before you stuff them in envelopes, address them, add postage and bring them to the post office.
Most people pull the Christmas tree out of the attic or basement around Thanksgiving, which begins the monumental task of decorating. From outdoor lights to antique figurines to stockings hung by the chimney with care, decorating can take a full day or even a weekend.
Are you hosting out-of-town guests? That means you can’t dump everything in the spare bedroom to get it out of sight. The room has to be clean, and you should probably put fresh linens on the bed.
Are you hosting a family gathering or planning the office holiday party? Time to start figuring out the menu and a schedule for cooking and baking. If you’re in charge of the office party, I hope you’ve settled on a venue by now.
I really hope you’re rewarding yourself with a vacation during the holidays. Some people think it just adds to the stress, but once you book the flight and accommodations, figure out airport transportation and pack, it will be totally worth it.
Welcome to the holiday season! It’s the most wonderful – and stressful – time of the year. But we can help. Contact us so we can help you create a to-do list and let Time Well Spent take care of some of these tasks for you.