Christmas Countdown: 3, 2, 1!

.The psychologists say Christmas stress is often ignored!

Stress, as we know, can causes a breakdown in your immune system, leaving you susceptible to colds and flu.

Add to that the overdrinking and overeating, and under-exercise, and you might end up in my emergency department!

Yet some stress is natural, invigorating and can get the adrenaline flowing, quickens the mind, energizes the body and helps us get on with life in a much more positive way.

We can see stress as something of a friend: 

As Monty Python once put it:

When you’re chewing on life’s gristle, don’t grumble, give a whistle

So I feel my ethical job is to give my 2011 Christmas organizing, décor and health tips that will relieve the stress. And it’s not a cocktail list, just some ideas to help you make this holiday season the best one yet!


Buy Gift cards. Yes, I said it, something for everyone! The recipient gets to choose the gift, yet it shows that you know what they like, where they spend their time or prefer to shop.

To further personalize, add a token gift to go with the card. For example: Earphones with an Itunes card, A key chain with a Canadian Tire,  or give a La Senza card with a dollar store net bag for washing under garments, A box of popcorn with a Galaxy Cinemas card, a travel mug with a Tim Hortons card.

One Christmas I opened a gift to have an onion fall out onto the floor. It was wrapped in with a set of swimming goggles! That was meaningful and funny for me.

The season is for laughing and joy, after all.

Organize your purse before you go shopping. In my clutter workshop I give the participants 5 minutes to write down everything in their purse without looking in it. Interesting results!

Eliminate any unnecessary receipts, paperwork or other items. Start an envelope for all your Christmas receipts. Especially the gift cards. If there is a problem recinding them, you may need to show the receipt. Best to give it with the card.

Ensure you have all your coupons and gift cards before you go out the door.

Lock your purchases in the trunk of your car. Take a blanket with you to throw over purchases you place in the back seat. There’s nothing like being a victim of theft to ad stress to your life.

Last minute wrapping, baking, preparing?

When you have to organize something, the last thing you want to do is get bored with the project at hand. Add some zest to those organizing projects ahead of you

Turn on the tunes. Background music can be very motivating when you’re trying to get something done. It can keep your energy flowing. However, the type of music you choose should be suited to the job at hand.

Sprinkle in some fun.

Dancing is a perfect way to relieve stress and burn calories. Slow dancing—3.5 calories a minute, fast….10.4 calories a minute. You might pick a pop Holiday album to bop to your chores with..


Visiting family, or having them over, and being an adult, but put once again in the role of a child is very difficult. Don’t expect good will. People don’t change. Don’t take responsibility for other’s happiness. Don’t expect miracles. Avoid known triggers in family gatherings. Use distraction techniques. Be a good listener. It makes you popular. (So does stocking up on rum and eggnog)

Guests coming over with no time to clean?

First impressions make the difference.

Take 10 min. to clear and clean the foyer.

Take 10 min to shine the taps and wipe down the bathroom

Take 10 min to declutter. Delegate!

If you set up your manger and there are wise men and a camel missing,, don’t worry. The fact is that there were not 3 wise men, no camels, and actually no manger.

They came to see a babe in a house acc. To Matt. verse2:chapter11.

They didn’t make it to the manger on time, and like 3 wise women would have, they didn’t ask for directions, deliver the baby, clean the stable, make casserole or bring diapers and other practical gifts!

  Don’t do it all in one day

Only Santa has to worry about that Thanks to our time zones, he has as much as 31 hours to deliver to 832 houses per second. And anyway, it was Pope Julius in the 4th century that chose Dec.25. It’s called a season, this Christmas thing.

If you have a busy lifestyle, you’re not willing to give up any of your activities and you can’t hire someone to help, you can’t expect your home to be perfectly organized all the time. Once you acknowledge this fact, you’ll be able to progress and find happiness in everything you are able to accomplish, instead of fretting over everything that still needs to be done.

 Finish what you started. So today I went home and looked for all the things I started but didn’t finish. I finished off a bottle of wine, a bottle of Bailey’s, some cheesecake, that bag of cookies, the prozac and a box of chocolates. You don’t know how good I feel!

You can complete projects if you commit to the ’20 minutes each day’ plan, and your home could look presentable. Set a timer. Make an appt with yourself. Respect yourself enough to keep the appt.

Book a silent night, holy night. Stay home, play soft music, light some candles,  meditate. You may not say no to others, but don’t say no to yourself either. Treat yourself as often as you can.

My lovely and talented sister, Marion, painted this blue tree. I love it!!!

The #1 selling Christmas song of all time?

Bing Crosby’s:Night before Christmas


Be the architect of your own holiday season.

Honour your family and friends with opportunity to connect.

Create intimate times with the ones we love.

The holidays will not let you down. Only you can do that.

If you could package this wonderful spirit of Christmas, you would have a present full of wonder, peace, faith, goodness, charity, simplicity, fun light and delight, laughter, and glory .

Thankfully you can give this gift. Take care of yourself and you can let it flow freely from your every thought, feeling and action. Give the gift that keeps on giving.



Merry Christmas to All!

Patti and Jim