|Photo by Petr Kratochvil|
I just got off the phone with an overwhelmed young mom who, with two children already, is due with another little one in just two months from now. She was having a meltdown. It's the holiday season and between Thanksgiving (which she hosted) and Christmas, she's having an open house in a few days to celebrate their new home. That would be enough usual stress right there, but then add to it:
- In the middle of cooking Thanksgiving dinner, her brand new induction cook top quit working. It just shut down. Yikes.
- The new repair part arrived this week and, naturally, it was broken in half.
- A couple of days before Thanksgiving, a tree fell and hit her house.
- Not knowing you shouldn't put snow globes or candles in the attic where the heat is a bit extreme during the summer, she started decorating for Christmas only to discover a real mess. The snow globes empty and the candles melted all.over.everything.else. Yikes again.
- Her brand new refrigerator is leaking from the hot water dispenser. Yet another call to the repair people. Sigh.
- Her 19-month-old no longer wants to sleep through the night. Yawn.
- I won't even mention the head lice. Yuck.
- Her mother is too busy with work and other personal issues to help her out. Seriously.
- The decorating is not done. The grocery shopping is not done. The open house is just days away. Is anyone feeling stressed just by reading this?
|Available on Amazon|
Starting in September, Harrington leads you through the step-by-step preparations. She even offers tips on losing weight, starting 12 weeks before Christmas actually arrives. She's basically covered everything.
October is full of more tips for easing the load come December.
In November, there are party planning pages, with a special place to note dietary restrictions for guests. While this didn't used to be a big deal, more and more hosts are realizing the need to plan according to these restrictions. Nut allergies, gluten intolerance, etc. can be real issues for people attending parties over the holiday season. Noting these dietary needs ahead of time can help reduce the stress when it's time to party!
By the time you reach December, provided you followed the guide Harrington's mapped out for you, you should be breathing easier than in years past. This is doable. Lists can be written for items to be purchased early (like mealtime staples) and items to be purchased late (like produce, dairy, etc.) There's even a chart for timing your meal preparation.
Basically, Christine Ida Harrington did not miss a beat. She covered it all in this short little must-have guide to stress-free, or at least stress-less, holidays.
Of course, as a professional editor, I did trip over some glaring oversights of repeated typos. For example, on October's Event Checklist, the first 'n' in function is missing every.single.time. Cringe. And I had to keep reminding myself that this is written in British English, not American English, so there are variations in spelling and traditions. But all in all, it is a handy little guide that is sure to helpful to any busy mom (or mum) out there.
Buy one as an early Christmas present for you, and then figure out who else on your gift list could use a few tips on reducing stress from September through December and order a copy for each of them as well.
CHRISTINE'S CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN sells for just $6.99, so it's affordable enough to be a great present for teachers and service providers, too.
Would you like to win a copy of the paperback book? Of course, you would! We'll be giving away 3 copies. Just enter below on the Rafflecopter. Entries will be verified and winner has 48 hours to respond to my email before an alternate winner is chosen.
But hurry! Contest ends at midnight EST on Sunday!
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