The holidays are in full swing bringing joy and goodwill but, as we all know, they can also bring on a lot of stress. This is especially true for working moms. We already have so little time in the day, and now there is the added pressure of entertaining, gift buying, gift wrapping, decorating, and baking. Many working moms don't get much time off during this season, which makes these sometimes enjoyable tasks feel more like chores.
Even if you are strapped for time, you can get back to enjoying the holidays by following a few time-saving ideas.
Shop Early. I learned this from my mother years ago, and when I don't shop early, present buying becomes stressful. It stops being about finding the perfect gift and starts being about just finding gifts in order to give something. Start shopping in October, or buy things throughout the year that you think your loved ones will like. My mother had a special closet in our house that we were not allowed in at any time because she stocked it with presents throughout the year. (An added bonus: Since you’re shopping year-round, you aren’t spending your money all at once. Double win!)
Cook ahead for parties. If you are one of those people who does a lot of cooking and entertaining, this is a must for you. There are many recipes in which you can prepare the items a day before and have them ready to throw in the oven at party time, so you can enjoy yourself instead of sweating in the kitchen. There are even some appetizers (like mini quiches or spanakopita) that freeze quite nicely. You can make up some batches a week or so ahead and have them ready to go on the day of your party. No one will ever know!
Delegate. If you are like me (and, let's face it, like most women) you probably try to tackle all the details because you think, "It will get done faster if I just do it myself.” This may be true, but it also can make you stressful and grumpy -- especially when you watch every one else sitting around drinking, eating, and being merry. You want to have fun, too! Delegate some tasks to your family. Whether it is grocery shopping, decorating, or gift wrapping, you will feel better if you get a little help.
Schedule a massage. OK... I know many of you are laughing at me right now, but hear me out. Just close your eyes and imagine scheduling a massage right in the middle of the holiday week. Sounds impossible, I know, but it is an hour where no one can reach you and you have permission to be completely relaxed. Just make sure to get a massage therapist who isn't too chatty, so you can shut your eyes and enjoy the silence! If you schedule you appointment now, you have a better chance of keeping it!