Real Life. Real Strategies. Real Quick.
Smart Solutions for Working Women.
December 9, 2010
Issue #22

Ridiculously Easy Ways to Improve Your Holidays

The last time I made latkes from scratch was over 10 years ago.  For weeks afterwards, my apartment smelled of burnt oil and I was finding potato peelings in the strangest places in my kitchen.  From that experience I learned (1) Trader Joe's makes perfectly fine frozen latkes and (2) the best way to enjoy the holidays is to simplify.  There are lots of ways to do this, but I'm going to make it really easy for you with five effortless ways to immediately make this season much more enjoyable.

  1. Decline one holiday party invitation.
    Feel free to send regrets to more party invitations if you'd like, but the simple act of eliminating just one event from your calendar allows you more time for what's important to you.  And let's be honest, there's always at least one party each year you dread attending.
  2. Use the 50% rule when hosting a party.
    If you are cooking food for an event, only prepare 50% of it yourself.  Either use prepared takeout items for the other 50% or agree to let guests bring a food item.  Bonus tip: If someone offers to bring something, don't just say "yes."  Tell them specifically what you want them to bring; it's more helpful to you and they will appreciate you eliminating the guesswork.
  3. At least once a day repeat the phrase, "I am not Martha Stewart."
    We establish crazy standards for ourselves this time of year resulting in exhaustion as we attempt to create the "perfect holiday."  Martha Stewart gets paid to create exquisite buffets and décor.  You probably do not.  You wouldn't expect perfection from someone else, so don't expect it of yourself.
  4. Make good use of the charity gift wrapping kiosk at the mall.
    Not only will you feel good about the donation you're making, but it will save you a ton of time and aggravation.  And if you have wrapping skills similar to mine, your presents will look a whole lot better if they're wrapped by someone else.
  5. Choose a "signature" gift which you buy for everyone.
    Buying everyone (or almost everyone) on your gift list the same or similar items truly simplifies your gift giving.  The idea is to choose something which minimizes your shopping, but still provides a wonderful gift which can be enjoyed by a variety of recipients.  Some ideas: magazine subscriptions, museum memberships, wine, massage gift certificates, etc.  If you're lucky, the recipients will love their gifts and you can repeat with something similar next year!

Faun Zarge helps people find solutions for their work-life challenges.
She offers her practical, realistic strategies through a wide variety of highly interactive and engaging seminars.  Please feel free to contact Faun directly to discuss how she might help your organization.


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