Tips for Surviving the Hustle and Bustle of the Holidays

Tips for Surviving the Hustle and Bustle of the Holidays

by Molly Gold

What Mom wouldnÂ’t want to know the best secrets to create a fun-filled holiday season without wearing herself out? The life of a mom during the holidays is beyond hectic, with many women finding themselves hosting one winter holiday and traveling to another. The hectic pace of having it all leaves Moms scrambling for everything from presents for teachers to a well-stocked fridge before the relatives arrive. To help families enjoy the five weeks spanning the Winter Holidays with all their charm and wonder, Moms need to plan ahead. Check out MickeyÂ’s Holiday Planning Guide and Calendar on for scheduling solutions for a Happy Holiday Season. Click here

Tackle the November Trio — get ahead of the game now! Three important tasks must be accomplished by December 4 to allow room for holiday fanfare.

1. Write holiday cards now. Purchase cards, reproduce a family photo, write your holiday letter, address envelopes, and assemble. Thanksgiving weekend, let your children help stamp and apply return address labels and then drop them in the mail with plenty of time for your loved ones to enjoy.

2. Review your Gift List and tackle it now. You will save time and money with preseason sales. Take it one step further and shop online. You can finish it all in one sitting and relax while gifts are shipped prewrapped!

3. Take inventory of your holiday décor now. The stores are stocked to fill in the gaps so you are ready to go when the time comes.

Apply the Rule of One — One holiday social event per weekend, that is. And when you accept an invitation, contact your babysitter immediately so you won’t find yourself scrambling. We tend to overschedule during the holidays and then wonder why the season feels more like a treadmill than a celebration. With her planner in hand, Mom can carefully commit everyone’s time, leaving room for winter sports, the usual tour of weekend birthdays, commitments at your place of worship, and just plain hang-time to enjoy the warmth of your own home and family. While you are scheduling, review all school holiday performances and events with your partner so if needed, time off can be requested now and sitters for younger siblings can be arranged. If simultaneous events occur, have each partner take one event so everyone is covered with an adoring adult. Family Traditions — Winter holidays just can’t commence without a huge batch of your family’s favorite cookies to start the season off right. This year it might be Daisy’s Sugar Cookies (visit “Just for Mom” at for a great recipe). Maybe you decorate your home Thanksgiving weekend, or maybe you believe in Santa and visit him at the mall every year Christmas week. You need to schedule these celebrations to make sure they occur, just as they do every year, while you zoom through the fun. Offer your children the rituals you cherished as a child. Tell them why these rituals are special and together, start some of your own. You can create a Family Traditions Book where you record each activity with its history and then add to it through the years. Your children will grow to love this routine and you will offer a legacy for their children to cherish someday as well.

Act from the Heart — Teach your children the significance of their affections by encouraging personalized, handmade gifts for their favorite friends and teachers. Offer your child a choice between activities such as baking cookies or decorating candle votives. Check out some of Mickey’s craft ideas and resources at “Just for Mom” on and schedule family time. Be careful not to curb your child’s creativity with a drive for perfect presentation. Remember the lesson here is showing the value of heartfelt gestures for gift-giving occasions. Go one step further and have your children sort through their toys and offer items outgrown or less favored to local charities. Throw away anything broken and help your children deliver their gifts to their charity of choice.

Entertain Early — Remember flu season? It’s back just in time for the holidays. Murphy’s law dictates that on the very day you have your annual open house for 75 friends and neighbors, someone under your roof will have a fever. So what’s a mother’s best defense? Entertain early in the holiday season and be prepared ahead of time so you can handle last-minute challenges such as this. Have your event before the season gets the best of you. Then you can enjoy the preparations to welcome loved ones to your home. By minimizing last-minute party tasks, you will build in time to handle the unexpected bumps life always hands us. And if you have to reschedule the entire event, remember it’s not the end of the world.

About the author

By Molly Gold, nationally known scheduling expert and creator of The Go Mom Planner. Molly has been featured on Good Morning America and her articles have been featured in Better Homes and Gardens, WomanÂ’s Day and numerous other womenÂ’s magazines.

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