Time Management: 8 Ways to Manage Family During the Holidays

parentinghome management

Managing your family’s time around the holidays can be a challenge all in itself. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, there are about 40 days jam-packed with shopping, family gatherings, parties, school events, and vacations. You can either let it all go to your head or you can take a moment, take a deep breath, get out your master calendar, and reign in your family. Remember, your mood and tone sets the stage for your family. If you’re calm, they will be calm.

Parents and baby boy during winter

How to Manage Your Family's Time During the Holidays

Here are a few helpful tips on how to keep your cool and actually enjoy the holidays:

  1. Decide what traditions are most important to you and forgo the rest. Figure out how to make the holiday meaningful for your family. Your family takes their cue from you. Nobody will enjoy the holidays if you feel stressed.
  2. There's a balance between planning ahead and letting the holidays take over your life. Save your sanity by prepping for the festive season between Halloween and Thanksgiving.
  3. Don’t be afraid to say “no” to those events that you truly don’t want to attend. It’s having too many obligations that makes the holidays stressful instead of enjoyable.
  4. If you have a social commitment that you’re dreading, be targeted about how you spend your time when you get there. Arrive early and spend a few minutes one-on-one with the host. Put in your face time, do the necessary networking, and be on your way.
  5. When you know that there are going to be several parties in a short period of time, insist that your family has down time at home to regroup. Not only is it enjoyable to relax when things are busy, sometimes this is the most precious time of all.
  6. When entertaining, schedule the day as if you were preparing an army for battle. Don’t forget the little — yet important — things, like making time for you to get dressed for the event.
  7. Delegate whatever you can. When a guest asks what they can bring, have a suggestion ready. Be proactive about asking guests and family members to help.
  8. When planning the logistics, build in time for you to soak in the tub before your guests arrive or you have to leave the house.

What are some things you do to stay relaxed and stress-free during the holidays?

Barbara Reich is a professional organizer based in New York, NY. Her tough love approach turns organization and clutter from chore to lifestyle. Barbara’s book, “Secrets of an Organized Mom”  will be on shelves in February 2013. To find more tips from Barbara, please visit or or @BarbaraReich.

Featured image courtesy of Flickr.
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Barbara Reich is a professional organizer based in New York, NY. Her tough love approach turns organization and clutter from chore to lifestyle. Barbara’s book, “Secrets of an Organized Mom” hit bookshelves in February 2013.


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