LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS
Simplify the Holidays
MARISA GIFT, LUTZ TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT MANAGER
If we change the title of a popular Christmas carol, we get how many of us feel this time of year: “It came upon the midnight HOUR.” The holidays often leave us feeling stressed because there never seem to be enough hours in the day this time of year. We know that not even Santa can give us the gift of a 25th hour in the day so we need to do what we can to simplify the season. Give these tips a try!
1. Put your plans on paper: Writing out your plans on paper will help you to see, in black and white, if they are realistic. Make a major to-do list. Write down everything you need to do for the holidays (e.g., travel, gift buying, cards, baking, parties, etc.). Read this list aloud and ask yourself, “If this were any other time of year would this be reasonable?” If your answer is “no,” you have just given yourself permission to start crossing items off the list!
2. Start a not-do-list: Just as important as making a to-do list, is making a not-to-do list. Note the tasks that don’t mean as much to you. This will depend on each person’s individual priorities. The holidays are not the time to be a hero with your time! Be realistic and save time for those items that really matter to you, your family and/or your community.
3. Take notes: Keep a record of the good, the bad, and the ugly of your holiday season this year. Take note of the gifts you gave, the cards you received, the events you attended, etc. This will make your to-do list and not-to-do list much easier next year.
4. Just say NO: Ask yourself: “What is most important to me about the holidays?” Also ask this question of your significant other, children, and other important people in your life. Be sure to include those favorite family traditions on the to-do list. And, remember, that the most important traditions are often the simple ones. For example, my family’s tradition of having appetizers on Christmas Eve (cheese, crackers, fruit, etc.) is one of my favorites. My mom is brilliant… she created a tradition that minimized cooking! And I’ve carried it on to my children who also love it!
5. Stay connected (not over-committed): We must keep reminding ourselves that the holidays are about being connected, not committed and scheduled. Build ways to connect with your friends and family into your to-do list. In fact, try an activity that will allow you to connect while also having fun crossing items off your lists! Here are a few ideas:
- Have a potluck party. Each guest brings a dish.
- Have a cookie swap.
- Invite friends over for an evening of card-writing or gift wrapping.
Above all, remember that the holidays are supposed to be a time of great joy. You mustn’t forget to include that joy on your to-do list! Try these tips and hopefully you’ll be singing the Christmas carols with their original lyrics… and great joy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
MARISA GIFT + TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT MANAGER
Marisa Gift is the Training and Development Manager at Lutz with over 15 years of experience. She helps shape the firm’s training and development strategy while also managing Lutz’s campus recruiting, orientation and mentoring programs.
AREAS OF FOCUS
- Human Resources
- Leadership Development
- Campus Recruiting
AFFILIATIONS AND CREDENTIALS
- Association for Talent Development, Member
- Human Resource Association of the Midlands, Member
- Society for Human Resource Management, Member
- BA in Communication Studies & Politics, Drake University, Des Moines, IA
- MA in Communication, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
- Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Publicity Committee
- Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Music Ministry
- Drake University National Alumni Board of Directors, Past Board Member
- 5 Tips for Effective Business Writing
- 4 Tips for Successful Delegation
- Change Management: 5 Strategies to Embrace the Change
- Personal Branding
- How to Run a First-Rate Internship Program
- Goal Setting Guidelines for the Road of Life
- Simplify the Holidays
- Minding Your Voicemail Manners
- Creating a Feedback Culture
- Recruiting Top Millennial Talent
- Coping With Conflict
- Small Steps to Establish Big Trust
- How to Run Your Life Like a Business
- E-Mail Etiquette Tips
- Tips for Being an Effective Mentee
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