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Blog: Organizing for Boomers
The Unlist for the Holidays Part II

It's the day after Thanksgiving and all through the house, everyone's stirring even the mouse. Are you feeling like a bloated blimp today and getting one of those giant headaches that have you running, not walking to the medicine cabinet for relief?

The good news is that Thanksgiving came at its absolute earliest this year, which gives a four-week window until Christmas weekend. Some years Thanksgiving occurs as late as November 28th and it seems like Christmas is right there, as we get up from the Thanksgiving dinner table.

Well, if you're one of those who say it doesn't matter how much time I have between Thanksgiving and Christmas, it's never enough. I agree with you; you're absolutely right.

So let's stop complaining and just get on with it.

Hopefully, you had a chance to do a Mind Map last week (see The Unlist for the Holidays Part I). You listed gazillion things you wanted to do, hoped to do, planned and dreamed to do so that every event would be perfect, just like some scene in a holiday card.

If you followed all the directions in Part I, you had a realistic conversation with yourself and started to cross things off your list, creating some breathing space when you looked at your To Dos next to your regular, busy, current calendar/planner/lifestyle.

Today I want to focus on two items that probably still remain on your Must Do for the Holidays.

1. Holiday Cards I know-I know-some of you had taken this item off your To Do List long ago, but many others haven't. Even for those who have removed this, I want to share a way of doing these cards that can simplify your life: Send Out Cards. For about a $1 a piece plus postage, a holiday greeting of your choice can be sent out by this wonderful company. The recipient receives your card in the mail (not as an ecard). If you want to do a card with a photo the cost is less than $1.50 plus postage.

No more time spent gathering the stamps, looking for the cards you bought last year on sale, finding your return address labels, getting your tongue or sponge ready for the tasty treat of each gluey envelope.

You can write a message that will go inside the card and choose from a variety of fonts, locating one that looks very close to your own. If your addresses are already in a database these can be easily transferred and used. If not, creating the database and picking out which card you want to use are your only time-involved tasks.

Contact DeeMarie Fisher at www.sendoutcards.com/21924 and she will be happy to give you all the details. You might also have a list of business clients you would like to acknowledge during this time of the year. She can set you up to do this as well, or better yet, a way for you to communicate with them quarterly or as often as you would like. DeeMarie can also be reached at 619.742.0046. She wants to help your holiday season go more smoothly.

2. Holiday Meals Maybe they're all coming to your house, and you just love it. The noise, the hustle-bustle, the camaraderie, the energy and the drama. But you're remembering other years when your were totally exhausted when the crowd left or worse yet, you got sick in the middle of it because you were so busy wearing your Superwoman cape you didn't take care of yourself.

If your life has changed and you've added new responsibilities, cut yourself some slack. Maybe you started a new business this year, added to your family, changed jobs, moved or any number of events to cause you to have limited time to get ready for big holiday meals.

Here are some shortcuts:
a. You provide the main dish and have your favorite store (Trader Joe's, Costco, etc.) provide all the side dishes and dessert. Simply remove the items from their containers and smile broadly when someone comments on how tasty the meal is.

b. Order the entire meal already cooked from the grocery store or specialty store. If you're looking for tradition, and tradition dictates turkey with all the fixings, order the entire cooked meal, and then you fix that special yam recipe that great-grandma handed down for generations. Everyone ends up with the best of both worlds the meal they were all expecting and great-grandma's dish as well.

c. Make a reservation for a restaurant in your price range. Oh, that sounds like heresy, you say. Close your eyes for a minute and picture someone else waiting on you and your family, someone else who did the shopping, prepping, preparing, and someone else who will be cleaning the kitchen at the end. Some of the restaurants offer a take-home service after you've completed your meal if your family has ordered a complete turkey meal for the group, the staff will package the leftovers so you have something for your refrigerator and tummys in the days ahead.

d. My last choice buffet. If none of the above suits your style, please put in the buffet option. You may end up not serving buffet style, and that's fine. But please get all the attendees involved in some way. Delegate-delegate-delegate. Write out all of the items you plan to serve and then give out assignments. Get active participation from the guests. Write it all down so you don't have to remember who was bringing the rolls, etc.

The day(s) should be filled with family, friends and fun. It should not be a time for sainthood, your collapsing in the kitchen and/or boastfulness. Even if you are the best cook in the country, sometimes it's okay to share.

Until next time-

Making Your Space a Special Place
the R.E.D. team Reinventing Everyday Designs

posted on: 11/23/2007 12:30:00 PM by Sue Crum
category: Special Populations

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Organizing for Boomers

by Sue Crum

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About Sue:

Sue Crum knows and understands the life of a Baby Boomer all too well. Having served as the filling of an Oreo cookie for many years, she has reinvented herself in San Diego as the owner of The R.E.D. Team, Reinventing Everyday Designs, doing professional organizing, real estate staging, and interior redesign.

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