Q: Please help. I love reading your column, but I'm feeling completely stressed and overwhelmed by the holidays, and I hope you have some ideas for me. It's just one project and party after another. And I still have so much to do. I honestly can't wait for the week after Christmas so I can actually relax. I remember loving Christmas so much as a child; I want to do the best for my kids so they'll have good feelings, too.
A: With just a week to go before Christmas, I really don't feel as organized as I come across in my columns. For me, too, the time has disappeared. Wasn't it just Thanksgiving?
I do have some holiday survival ideas, though. There is no need to compromise yourself and your well-being by overbooking yourself or trying to please everyone. Chances are great your kids are going to have a memorable holiday, and the rest of your family and friends will have fun, even if everything isn't picture perfect. Letting some of the projects go and saying no to some activities will allow more time for your family at home and will help you all enjoy the season a lot more.
For you: Have a quiet spa day in your own bathtub. Pour yourself a glass of wine or a cup of peppermint tea, close the door, and relax. Keep up your exercise routine and healthy eating habits as much as you can. It will pay off by giving you strength (not to mention making your New Year's resolutions easier).
Simplify your menu and ask for help. Having someone else bring the side dishes, appetizers, desserts, and beverages can be a big relief. Compostable paper plates also are an option - and assign a cleanup crew to put away the leftovers and handle the dishes.
You don't have to do everything every year. Traditions are lovely, but certain activities could be alternated. Your kids will remember the special activities whether you do them for 18 years or just eight.
I hope these tips will help. Please have a wonderful holiday season and a happy New Year.
And thank you, and all my readers. Through your questions, photos, and ideas, I learn so much.
Jennifer Adams is a designer, author, and TV personality. To contact her: