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Christmas Organizing Secret: Try A Tear File!

tear files

Christmas magazines and catalogs are fabulous resources for seasonal decorating, gift ideas, and Christmas recipes—but en masse, they can become too much of a good thing.

When the piles avalanche from every side table, finding an article or a recipe that caught your eye a few weeks ago can be an impossible job.

How do you keep all that good information without being crushed by stacks or drowning in paper? Answer: a set of tear files.

Simplify Season's Greetings: Using Computers To Send Christmas Cards

Computers speed holiday cards

As an online old-timer, I can attest to this fact: few subjects stir as much controversy as computers and Christmas cards.

The questions come year after year. Should we use the computer to address the cards? Write a Christmas letter on inkjet letterhead?

What about pre-printed signatures? Is it okay to use e-mail to send holiday greetings?

What's the right-and-wrong of harnessing computer technology to make it easier to send Christmas cards and holiday letters?

Set Up a Wrap and Mail Center

wrap and mail center

Wrapping gifts for the holidays? Repeat after me: "This year, I won't be wrapping gifts at midnight on Christmas Eve!"

If there's a single most-underestimated holiday chore, it's gift wrapping.

Supplies lie scattered throughout the house, while space and privacy are hard to come by.

Translation: late-night Christmas Eve wrapping sessions, grumbling your way through the job.

State of the Closet: Pre-Holiday Wardrobe Check

holiday wardrobe check

We’ve all experienced this seasonal panic: it's the night of the office holiday party and a spouse’s good white shirt has gone missing!

Calm the chaos with a pre-holiday wardrobe check!

Assessing the State of the Closet for all family members before the holiday begins means never having to say, "It's in the wash!"

Santa Savings: Make A Holiday Budget

christmas holiday budget

For many families, Christmas comes not once a year, but lingers on for months!

Credit card bills arrive shortly after season’s end, not to be paid off until the following summer.

Grocery budgets groan under the burden of holiday meals and baking supplies.

Nearly two-thirds of American families don't know the true cost of their own Christmas celebration--and if they did, they'd be shocked. That much ... for a single day?

Before The Season: Focus On Holiday Values

holiday values

What do you really want for Christmas? Our ideas may differ in the details, but most of us want much the same thing: a seasonal celebration focused on faith, family and friends.

We want the excitement of the season without the disruption that too often comes with it. We want to draw closer to those around us, not to be thrust apart by hectic schedules. We want to enjoy as well as to prepare, and to keep the Christmas season in a manner that is joyous and spiritually centered.

Problem is, it’s easy to get caught up in the seasonal whirlwind! Tradition, the media, family expectations and the economy lean on our decision-making, each with a different agenda. Unconscious forces can distort our celebration for reasons that have nothing to do with what we truly want from the holiday.

Schedule Smart for Stress-Free Holidays

holiday scheduling

When you think about Christmas from a few weeks away, there’s a luxurious feeling of “plenty of time”, but as December draws near, the season’s pace quickens exponentially. Where did the time go?

Time takes on a slippery quality as the holiday season approaches.

Being proactive--and early--saves time and stress as the season's pace quickens.

Take major action against the seasonal time crunch with a pre-season scheduling session. The goal: to arrange for all those little appointments that slip the mind so easily.

Simplify Your Holidays With A Christmas Calendar

christmas calendar

Seldom acknowledged but often felt, time pressure creates a unique stressor during the Christmas season.

Holiday events, school functions and holiday parties crowd December days; service projects, travel and worship activities double. To keep holiday stress at bay, a calendar is a must-have tool for an organized Christmas.

Even if you never rely on a family calendar the other eleven months of the year, December's busy days call for a dedicated calendar for smooth sailing.

Get Organized: Make a Christmas Planner

christmas planner

As we get ready for Christmas, we’ll be making lists (and checking them a lot more than twice!), holding discussions with spouses, children and parents, and drawing up a holiday budget. Too often, we record our plans piecemeal, consigning them to a confused clutter of scrawled envelopes, jotted notes and cryptic calendar entries—none of which make it to the shopping center with us when it’s time to buy gifts.

Organized people keep the results of their work in a central place: a Christmas planner.

Easy to make and easier to use, a Christmas planner cuts through holiday clutter and keeps planning on track. Home to lists and recipes, calendars and gift ideas, this simple tool is the architect and source of a serene celebration.

Try these ideas to create and use a Christmas planner: your personal guide to an organized Christmas.

Get Organized: Create A Christmas Planning Center

Christmas planning center

When planning for the holiday season, why try to wing it, on the fly?

Making lists on the go often finds them scattered in your wake, never to be found again.

To stay centered as you plan the holidays and get into the seasonal swing in comfort, find a place in your home to create an activity center devoted to Christmas planning.

A dedicated spot to make gift lists lists and track menus keeps holiday planning on track.

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