Proper planning and time management is key. Keep a calendar by your side like the life blood it is. I find doing the Christmas cards early is one task checked. Shopping online saves time driving around and walking around in stores, plus you spend less because you don't buy extras you may in a store. I also like to buy local and if I can use holiday shopping to also raise money for schools or charities. There are programs where you can buy gifts or gift certificates and a % of the proceeds go to a charity or school fundraiser. So your gift gives twice the love.
Spend time and money on what counts. There are lots of extras you can probably skip over but spending time with family and friends is worth your efforts and funds. Set a nice table for a dinner party and share memories, rather than buying those fancy shoes to wear to the party. You will look radiant as the hostess even in slippers. Your positive energy and good spirit will set the tone for the season and each occasion.
Try to plan out your month ahead to keep balance between the "have to's" and "want to's". We all have prepping and planning but we can turn some activities into fun ones. Like involve your kids or friends in a wrapping night so it can be a fun job rather than tedious. Baking and other traditions are what make the season so wonderful. It just all about planning and time management - says a woman with three kids who plans parties for a living. It isn't easy but each year I like to think I am doing a little better than the year before. And when all else fails - reward yourself with good cheer (wine & chocolate) !
Happy Holidays from MLE to your Family!