guilt freeToday’s message is just say NO! I am sure you know exactly what I mean. Those invitations and “special” activities that you really don’t want to do, but feel obligated to do, can really put a damper on your holiday spirit. Are you finding that you have less patience, are more tired and a bit crankier than last year? Well some of that could be the constant negativity we are hearing on the news each night about how bad things are. Hearing how many people are out of work and the fact that we haven’t hit bottom yet is very disheartening. At the same time the media is emphasizing that people are doing things differently this year. Even if you are lucky enough to have not been affected by this economic downturn, take advantage of the situation to change some of the “rules” you have been following for your holiday preparation and celebrations.


I am giving you permission to say no to those things that you cringe at as soon as you think about them. For you it may mean the big holiday dinner, writing a long family letter to include in your cards or the hours you spend at the mall searching for the “perfect” gifts (which don’t exist). Now don’t get me wrong I am a strong believer in tradition or in at least having some traditions, but I also believe that each year is a chance to start a new tradition. Our life situation is constantly changing (the young kid stage, teen stage and grown up kid stages, empty nest etc.) so why cling to old traditions when making a new one might work better for all concerned?


This year, I especially like the “unstressed mom” tradition. Being a professional organizer comes with its own pressure, the pressure to do it all and make it look easy. Many of my organizer friends finish their shopping before December even begins-but not me. I crave that adrenaline rush that can only come at 10:30pm December 23rd at the mall. This year though everything will be bought and wrapped by the 15th and the house will be decorated (I am going to make this one too!) The dinner for 35 people on Christmas day will also be simplified (wish I could do pizza but no one will deliver). Who says everything must finish cooking at the exact same time when there is only one oven and a microwave? After all I am THE ORGANIZER! I can simplify and set up systems for handling this dinner just like I can organize any space in the home.


The point I want to make is that YOU are in control. You can say no, you can do things differently as long as you are happy and your family is happy. Talk to them, they want you to be happy too. Work together and make this your best holiday ever.

Wishing you a peaceful, unstressed, organized holiday season.