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Low Stress Holidays and Events are what many moms long for. Typically the primary "family party organizer" we tend to stress big time over the Holidays, our children's birthday parties and other special events.
It can be hard to find the time it takes to get ready for these events when we are already so pressed for time on a normal day! So here are some tips to help you streamline this process.
Start planning for these events early. If your child’s birthday is in August, it is okay to start thinking about and planning the celebration a month or two in advance. That way, you’ll have plenty of time to get things done and you won’t feel rushed when the day draws near.
When you start the planning process, start with the end date and work backwards. If the party is on the 20th, you’ll want to send the invitations out by the 2nd, so you’ll need to buy them on the 15th of the prior month to make sure you’ll have enough time to prepare them. Use this method to plan each aspect of the party.
As you know, most stores are packed the week before Christmas. Avoid this shopping rush by purchasing your gifts ahead of time. Start shopping in September and October or avoid the stores all together and shop online.
If you are hosting a party at your house, don’t try to prepare all the food yourself. Instead, make it a pot luck and cook only the main entrée. In most circumstances it's perfectly okay to ask your guests to bring a side dish or dessert to pass. Most people really want to bring a dish to share anyway! If you are going to hold a large event, you may even want to consider having it catered. And it doesn’t have to be formal; it can be as simple as getting a large party sub and a few salads from the deli.
Many times, people will have several small celebrations for one event. For example, a mom-to-be may have a baby shower for her side of the family, another one for her husband’s side of the family, and a third one for her friends. If possible, hold one large event instead of several smaller ones, and invite everyone. This will save you lots of time.
If you work a lot of hours and simply do not have time to plan a party, consider hiring an event planner. They specialize in this and can take the work off your hands, freeing you up to focus on other things. If this idea appeals to you but you don’t think you can afford it, consider bartering something you do in return for some event planner hours.
If you don’t want to worry about cleaning up after your guests, rent a space for your party, such as a conference room in a restaurant or an outdoor area in a park. If you want to hold the party in your home, you can always schedule a cleaning service to come over the day after the party and take care of the clean-up.
Low Stress Holidays and Events can be your reality by planning in advance and by asking for or hiring help for certain tasks.
I used to love to host great parties and really went overboard on more than one occasion. What I learned over the years though is that holiday parties and other special events should be more about the people than all the extras.
When you focus on making your Holiday celebrations and special events all about faith, family and friends, you'll start to recognize the areas in which it's okay to delegate. An exhausted, super-busy hostess only misses out on what's important... faith, family and friends.
Best wishes for your low stress Holidays and events!