*Editor’s Note: On January 11, 2010 (date change), Debbye Cannon will host a fabulous Time Management Webinar to help the women of WE to get unstuck, save and spend their time in more fulfilling, profitable ways. Sign up at http://smartcut-solutions.com/

12 “Ways” of Christmas by Debbye Cannon

"12 days of christmas pink ornaments"No matter what your special winter holiday may be, it’s sure to be FILLED to the brim with once a year special events, friends, and family time. Having everything in order will assure you that the season will be packed with pleasure instead of filled with frustration. Here are some of my best secrets for sanity.

1. Ask friends and family members for their wish lists to simplify your gift giving efforts. You can specify an amount or make the sky the limit. Include specifics (catalog number or store and price).

2. SMARTcut® your holiday greetings with services for sending electronic cards. There are many free services for sending electronic cards all year long. (http://ecards.plaxo.com/ecard/ or http://www.hallmark.com/online/product/ecards/).

3. Speed up gift wrapping with reusable gift bags, boxes or make some fabric bags. All are economical and easier to store than rolls of paper.

4. Donate! This is the perfect time to clear out closets and share the wealth with those less fortunate.

5. Keep up with the incoming paper (mail, catalogs, newspapers, magazines). It’s so easy to get behind on your paperwork when you have more fun opportunities like holiday parties and gatherings to attend. Visit http://office-simplified.com/ for SMARTcut systems for paper management

6. Create a reusable menu and grocery list. Let’s face it, most of us have a favorite meal for holiday times. Instead of looking up the recipes in a bunch of cards and books, why not create a pretty (and totally functional!) Holiday Meal “Album.”
You can start adding photos of your holiday gatherings.

7. Of course, the BIG DAY meal isn’t all you’ll be cooking and serving in the next few weeks. If you ever needed to streamline your everyday meals, this would be the time. Discover how to save time and money in the kitchen at http://Meals-Simplified.com.

8. Holidays are sure to find some extra hands helping you in the kitchen (well, I hope so anyway!). So help them to help you by adding labels to your refrigerator shelves.

9. One thing that contributes to stress in hyper-busy times is not allowing for preparation and clean up. Be sure to mark off some before and after time to your activities so you have allowed time to pack for that trip, bake for that party, and wrap those gifts.

10. Got guests? If so, don’t delay in checking your guest room for towels, travel-sized essentials, and maybe even a basket of goodies.
 Ask ahead if they have food limitations and tell what to expect for temperatures in your home so they are dressed for comfort.

11. Be sure to take lots of photos with a digital camera to preserve memories! Try digital download albums available from services such as http://Snapfish.com to create some lovely books. This is an affordable, fast way to make duplicate copies for friends and family of your special times together.

12. Ahhh! The festive days will soon come to a close, so put away the decorations in a more friendly fashion. Last year I realized that my decorating efforts next year would be much simpler if I stored my decorations by rooms.

Simply Yours,

Debbye Cannon

Debbye Cannon, author, speaker and simplification strategist consultant simplifies life for women internationally. With a diversified background as a military wife, mother, home educator, caregiver, entrepreneur and grandmother she’ll make your life SIMPLY BRILLIANT. Find more SMARTcut® Solutions at http://SMARTcut-Solutions.com

*purchase the pink ornaments shown above at Summers At The Cottage