Have Yourself an Organized Little Christmas

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The day after Halloween should be its own holiday: it’s the first day that we can officially talk about Christmas without feeling like its way too soon.

(Americans take note: we Canadians already had our Thanksgiving so we’ve got almost two months of nothing to do except plan for this.)

In actual fact, a lot of the Christmas displays have already been up in the stores for a coupe of weeks. I hate to admit it, but there’s a part of me that’s growing excited. A lot of people may argue that Christmas has become too secular, or too commercial, but I can’t help but feel that there’s some kind of Christmas spirit that lingers out there all the same this time of year. People become kinder, more thoughtful. The daily grind starts feeling a lot more cheerful.

And everywhere there’s this urge to connect- with family, friends and neighbors. Maybe I’m just imagining it, but it’s the one time of year that I feel more than ever like part of a community.

There’s a downside as well to the holidays- the pressure to “keep up with the Joneses” and give the most expensive gifts, host the most fabulous parties, and decorate until your house looks like Santa’s little workshop. It’s a lot easier when you plan ahead a little and keep yourself organized. Last year I shared my trick for organizing the Christmas cards I send, and how I organize my holiday shopping. I love figuring out way to become more productive and organized and this season I’ll be sharing a lot more on tips on last-minute gift ideas, party planning and taking time off of work to help things run smoothly.

This isn’t a happy time of year for everyone- the holidays can often bring up old memories and grudges, and many people still have to face life’s challenges despite all the cheer the holidays have to bring. I shared a story about one particularly lonely Christmas last year on the blog, and in the coming weeks I’ll be sharing more ways that I’ve been able to find inner calm and gain perspective during this busy season.

We can’t really talk about Christmas without talking Christmas baking either, and the Swedes have a special tradition every year of making seven different types of cookies. (Eating sweet things makes you nicer, apparently.) Part of my background is Swedish so I’ve invoked this tradition in my household again. I’ll be posting this year’s selections some time closer to the holidays but if you’re looking for inspiration in the meantime, my Swedish Gingersnaps, Maple Butter Cookies, Jam Slices, Rugulahs, Orange Crunch Cookies, Vanilla Horns and Chocolate Crinkle Cookies were all big hits last year. (These posts are all updated with new information, and brand-spanking-new pictures!)

And don’t worry- I’ll still be blogging about business, books and all things keeping busy (not just holiday-related!).

I hope you’ll join me on my quest this season to have an organized little Christmas, and to make the most of this special time with friends and family.

KBwB-BFlower-50I like to talk about the Christmas holiday on the blog because it’s what I know, and what I grew up with. It’s a special time of year for me, but for some of my readers I know it won’t hold the exactly the same meaning. I don’t want to be presumptuous either, and write about other holidays or traditions from other religions or cultures for fear of misrepresentation.

Having said that, I’d love to hear about all of the other celebrations my readers participate in, in their own words! Comment below and let me know what kind of meaning time time of year holds for you (if any!). Or drop me a line at keepingbusyb@gmail.com and let me know how to be more inclusive to my readers. Perhaps you’d like to collaborate on a post with me?

And as always, I’m happy to hear your comments and ideas over Twitter, or share some of your holiday projects you’ve been working on with me on Instagram. Pinterest is an especially dangerous place for me this time of year, and I’d love to see what you’ve been obsessing over as well.

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