Using the Calm Before the Storm
I don’t know about you, but I already feel it. The mad rush that begins in October and doesn’t end until the new year. Halloween is huge in my house. It’s my husband’s favorite holiday and it has rubbed off on me as well. October is a crazy month for us fill with events and activities for the season. There’s Apple/Pumpkin Picking, Harvest Fest at the New York Botanical Garden, Boo at the Zoo, The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular at Sesame Place, and of course Halloween itself. We also host a marshmallow roast every year around Halloween. On top of that, our 5 year wedding anniversary is October 29th. Are you feeling overwhelmed yet?
Then the holidays start with Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping, holiday lights shows, Christmas parties, visiting Santa, and Christmas itself. Add to that my sister in laws wedding in early November, and Hailey’s baptism in December, and the next few months are packed. And of course there’s still grad school and work and family and life. For these last two weeks of September I will be enjoying the calm.
How I will be Using the Calm
- Altering costumes: T’s Halloween is in so, in the next few weeks I will slowly be taking it in. The character he wanted to be didn’t have a costume in toddler size, so there is a lot to take in… I ordered a plain dress for my costume and once it arrives, I will need to add a few extra touches for my character. Hailey’s costume is ordered and some pieces have arrived. Luckily, her’s doesn’t need much work. As for the hubs, he likes to take his costume into his own hands… Note: I am being purposefully vague here. I want you to really enjoy the big Halloween costume reveal!
- Planning our weekends: There are a lot of activities that we want to pack in to a short period of time. This is especially true in October. In the next 2 weeks I will be prioritizing the activities we want to do most and try to schedule times to do them. Since my husband works weekends, this may be difficult. We may recruit grandma to join us for the more minor activities and make sure the hubs is there for Sesame Place and Pumpkin/Apple Picking. My husband already took the day off for Halloween; it’s that important.
- Start Holiday Shopping: Holiday shopping starts now. If we see something that T seems to like in the store, we make a note for his Christmas list. Hails is a lot easier seeing as how a 4 month old doesn’t really make demands regarding toys. Also, presents for friends and relatives starts now. If we see something someone would like we just pick it up and save it for the holidays. This also goes for holiday outfits. If we see something now, we just pick it up and save it.
- Plan for Hailey’s Baptism: We are not having a huge get-together, but we will have a little reception for family and close friends after Hailey’s baptism. So nothing crazy, but there will be invitations, food, and some decor. Oh, and of course, cake. Definitely something DIY which I of course will share here!! So, the planning for that will start now!
That’s it. I mean it would be silly if this was a long list. It wouldn’t be calm, it would be just as stressful as the coming months. These four things however can really help us to enjoy the experiences of the holidays instead of being bogged down by the stresses. I always get my holiday shopping done by the latest, Black Friday. This way in December I can enjoy the holidays and just have to do some wrapping. I like to have our October events planned so we are not stressing about fitting everything in, but instead enjoying the events. As far as November, I am lucky to have 5 sister in laws and a wonderful mother in law, so Thanksgiving is never stressful for me. I bring my always requested dessert which you can find here, and maybe a side or two. Everyone chips in, so it’s not so overwhelming.
So, are you enjoying the calm before the holidays? What are you doing to make the holidays less stressful? Share in the comments and let’s help each other out!
Emily Bendler is a mom, wife, full-time insurance adjuster, professional dancer, dance teacher, graduate student, and founder of I Hope You Dance, Inc., a non-profit supporting youth dance. Read how Emily used her dance ambitions to become a time management maven. Feel free to send Emily a message using the email me tab above.