FlyLady’s Holiday Essay

“I want you to FLY through your holiday season with peace, love and joy!” – FlyLady

Dear Friends,

Every year we are faced with the pressures of the holidays. Before we know it, the “gift giving” season will be upon us. For years we have stressed over these purchases with our last minute SHEness taking over causing us to spend way too much money. I want you all to have a happy well-planned holiday season and not have to deal with money problems next year. In order to accomplish this, you will have to start now and develop your gift giving plans. There are some things you need to think about right now.

Where are you going to spend the holiday? Home or traveling?

How much money have you budgeted for the seasonal purchases?

What type of gifts do you want your children to receive? This IS in your control, if you will address this now with your children’s grandparents, aunts and uncles, they will listen to you. When my son was a baby, his grandparents started giving him savings bonds and one small toy. Just last two years ago, he and his wife were able to make a down payment on their new home with these bonds. What a wonderful gift to a new family!

If you will go look in your children’s rooms, you will find that they are filled with toys that they no longer love. Most gifts have a short lifespan. As you reduce the clutter in your homes, you are going to be more particular about what comes in. The bounty of the holiday bootie looses it luster when it is piled in the floor of your children’s rooms. This is clutter; since it is not loved and used. We need to encourage our family to not add to the clutter and chaos, but to give quality, timeless toys, puzzles, books and games that develop the minds of our babies. Our children don’t handle clutter any better than we do. Limit this and watch their minds stop being overwhelmed.

In order to eliminate the stress of the holidays it is important to get your gifts purchased as soon as possible. I am doing most of my shopping this week as we are away from home on a mini-work/vacation. I am being very picky about my gifts. My son will get money(his request) and my in-laws will have consumables wrapped up for them. Last year my sweet sister-in-law gave us a party basket filled with cheeses, crackers and lots of things to set out for guests while entertaining. Robert and I love to get gift cards for books or dinners, so as a result we also we enjoy giving gift cards for books and dinners to our family. We all love to give things that we love.

FlyCrew has posted lots of clutter-free gift ideas on our website. Please check out the Cruising Through the Holidays of our homepage:  http://www.flylady.net/d/cruising-through-the-holidays/

We have a wonderful toy store in my hometown of Brevard, NC. The members that live in my area know about the virtues of O.P. Taylor’s. John Taylor the owner of the store has been in business many years and prides himself in having quality toys and he stands behind his merchandise. He also has an 800# and it is his website address. When you look at his site you will see a picture of John; he has a beanie on his head: he really does wear it all the time.

http://www.optaylors.com/.

If you visit his site or call him, be sure and tell him you are one of my members. He doesn’t know I am telling you about O.P. Taylors again this year.

As you are making your gift list, be sure and use the Internet as much as possible to search for and purchase the items you want for your children and other family members. This will save you time, money and impulse purchases as well as cut down on the chaos of having the babies with you. Your computer can help you make informed purchases from the comfort of your home without the clutter of all the catalogs. This can be a tool to cut down on the stress that you feel during this hectic time of the year. Your packages can be delivered to your door! I just love it. Be sure and keep your gift list in a computer file and check things off as they are ordered, arrive and are wrapped. The one year I ordered all my gifts from catalogs was the most peaceful holiday season I ever experienced in all my years of being a SHE. With the gifts purchased; I could concentrate on spending time Loving my family instead of rushing around in crowds doing last minute shopping, settling for just anything and spending whatever it took to put a gift under the tree! I know you have all done this! It is time to stop this behavior and enjoy the holidays for a Peaceful change!

Last year we pretended that we were going to be on a cruise during the first three weeks in December. This way we had to have all of our holiday plans made and implemented by December 1st. This included decorating, pantry purchases for holiday goodies, greeting cards addressed and mailed and gifts wrapped and ready to put under the tree. It was a complete success. Hundreds or maybe even thousands of people were able to accomplish this and spend the month of December having fun and taking care of themselves. You can do this too. So where are you going on your December Cruise? I think I will be visiting a warm tropical island with an erupting volcano; Hawaii sounds good. I have always wanted to see a volcano! Now I am not really going; but it is fun to pretend! Maybe one day. Let your holiday plans begin!

I want you to FLY through your holiday season with peace, love and joy!

FlyLady

P.S. We are not going to get religion specific about our plans. As you do with all of our routines; adapt to fit your family traditions. The main thing is for you to have fun and enjoy yourself without stress. Our goal is to be ready by the end of November.

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