The problem with the holidays is that they are too short.
Thanksgiving is still fresh in our minds, but we've only got four short weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas to make all our family's holiday fantasies come true.
Forget Santa - we all know who the head elf is here. So, Ms. Elf - how are you going to pull it off? Easy. You're going to make a plan. Or three.
Get out your pen and paper and get ready to organize holiday life. You're going to make your own Christmas list. And it will be a doozy.
Now you've got a plan for the holidays. All other invitations or events will be juggled around your basic holiday family schedule. This way you might just avoid wrapping Santa gifts at 2 a.m. on December 25.
Plan A pertains to the head elf (you). Plan B pertains to the whole family. Hey, why should you have all the stress - er - fun? Go back to your list and see what you can delegate to whom.
After all, the more everyone pitches in, the more time you have for family fun. It really does pay to organize the holidays.
If you made a plan and included the family and you're still feeling overwhelmed, something is obviously not working. Reevaluate your plan.
Maybe you're trying to do too much. What can you leave out? Remember that quiet evenings are also a vital part of the holiday season.
If you're always rushing around to parties and concerts and breakfasts with Santa, when are you going to enjoy your lovely holiday home? When will you have time just to be a family? Make sure you schedule some down time on that calendar as well. Write it in red.
We keep raising the bar on ourselves. Whatever we did last year, we feel we need to do it bigger and better this year. The dinner will be more spectacular. The gifts will all be custom-wrapped to fit the recipient. We really will go caroling this year...
Sound familiar? Tell yourself what you tell the kids when they write out their wish lists: You can't have it all. And even if you could, it wouldn't make you happy. The trick is to make what you do have very, very special.
You may have to forgo the holiday newsletter. Hey, send it in February! You may not have time to make the plum pudding. Your home may not glisten when neighbors drop by. You are no super mom. You are mom. And that's super enough.