The following is done:
- Christmas letters and cards (and pictures, of course!) went out to be received the day after Thanksgiving! (Always my goal!)
- Christmas gifts purchased. (Immediate family and a few friends only.)
- Christmas gifts wrapped or bagged (My homemade fabric ones get reused yearly-so so easy!) and under the tree.
- Menu for Christmas Eve is planned. (Instead of a meal this year we will all contribute appetizers and graze while we play games.)
Do you feel behind and are you experiencing the pressure? I sure hope not; but when some see this list, many say they are so behind and don’t like the feeling. While I’m an organized person by nature (it’s a blessing and can be a curse) I have also learned that it is best if I work a little throughout the year in order to be ready for the holidays.
Having a child with special needs has kept me always thinking ahead. If I don’t think and plan ahead I can tell you I AM BEHIND. I don’t want to be behind no matter the situation (school, holidays, going somewhere, etc.) I don’t like being behind and like rushing last minute even less! With this in mind, my planning is done a little bit throughout the year so I can experience this:
- Calm attitude of my own during one of the busiest months
- Happy family members because I’m not overwhelmed, rushed, and busy
- Time for visiting family and friends
- Opportunity to have guests to our home and not be thinking about all what isn’t done so I can visit and have meaningful conversations and make good memories
- Doing something for others because I’m ready at home
Since most of us reading this have one of more people in our life with special needs (child, children, ill parents, etc.) we know it’s hard to wrap up the holidays with a big red bow alone. So, if you/we need help, make a plan throughout the year to have someone help you “do” some of the holiday things you want accomplished (some of these won’t matter to you, but if it does, seek help to get it done):
- Each month make a plan to have someone help you accomplish ONE thing (baking, shopping, crafts, decorating, cards, etc.)
- If you want to bake, plan to have a young person help care for those in your care while you get to do baking you want to do – alone.
- Plan a few days to shop for gifts; with someone to take care of your home duties thus allowing you to shop alone.
- Work with another (friend, etc.) to send out your cards.
Does it always work out perfectly for a “Norman Rockwell” picture perfect painting of our family holidays? No; but the chances are a whole lot less for meltdowns, bad visits, and craziness when I’ve taken the time to be prepared ahead time.
Plan ahead starting next month for what you’ll do a year from now. Write it out; make a plan for one thing to be accomplished per month; and hopefully your next holiday won’t end in “OH MY”!
Dr. Joe and Cindi Ferrini share their newest book: Love All-Ways: Embracing Marriage Together on the Special Needs Journey (order at www.cindiferrini.com). They are authors, speakers, and bloggers for several blogging sites on marriage, family and special needs. They speak nationally for FamilyLife Weekend To Remember Marriage Get-a-Ways, authored *Unexpected Journey – When Special Needs Change our Course, and have been interviewed on Focus on the Family, FamilyLife Today, Janet Parshall at “In the Market”, Chris Brooks of “Equipped” and various other radio and television venues. Connect with them at:
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