It’s That Crazy, Busy Time of Year

The holiday season is now in full swing. As freelancers, we are Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2014busy trying to keep up with all aspects of our lives.

Family and friends. Holiday parties. Special events. Cooking and baking. Shopping. Gift wrapping. Freelancing. Taking care of our homes, and ourselves. There doesn’t seem to be enough time to get everything done.

How do you handle this? How do you go about doing everything that needs to be done at this time of year, without feeling frazzled day in and day out?

It took me just over a week to decorate the room I rent for Yule, with everything thing else there is to do. If I had an entire apartment or house, it would take me longer. I just finished the decorating yesterday, one of my days off from the day job. I did not get any writing done, but my room looks so nice, for the most part. I also wrapped all the gifts I have so far, and they are nestled in front of the tree waiting for our family celebration on the 19th when my daughters will be here with their families.

Rearranging to decorate means I have two areas in my room that are piled high with notebooks and paper, that I have to take care of on my next day off. These items will have a temporary home until the decorations come down.

I did get to take a mini vacation before Thanksgiving, to visit my daughter Skye who lives upstate. We had a day of shopping, which took care of much of the gifts I needed, wrapping needs, and a few decorations. Other gifts were bought online, during my downtime at the day job. I work as a Front Desk Agent at an inn.

On the 13th, the bestest and I are going to be having a baking day. We started this tradition last year, and it is great to get together for a day and forget the stresses of the season. The result is fun girl time, and food gifts for some people.

The weekend the girls are here will be a busy one. I’ll work a shift at the inn, and we’ll have a party at my parents home. Then I will be splitting time between my girls, and have my grandson for a night. The first time he will spend the night with his Memay. I simply can’t wait.

And then there will be the Yule dinner with the siblings and their families, filling out holiday cards and getting them shipped off, doing the craft projects I want for the holidays, and spend some time sipping hot cocoa.

My day job is keeping me at about 38 hours per week, and I’m working on writing things. Blog posts, articles, editing the freelance book, filling in gaps in a story I’ve writing, and getting a series of short stories published.

The pure craziness of all I’m trying to pull off is astounding. I’m sure it is for you as well, so I am coming up with a better plan for next year – and it starts right after Christmas.

  1. Make a list of holiday items (decorations, cards, wrapping needs, food containers) that will be needed for next year. Buy these items during the after Christmas sales. (Bonus: This will save money.)
  2. While shopping the after Christmas sales, look for gift items to be given next year, as well as things you might give for birthdays and other occasions. (Bonus: This will also save money.)
  3. Throughout the year, to save even more money as well as time at the next holiday season, I’ll be looking for sales on other items to give for gifts. I will make a list of people I need to buy or make items for, with a suggested list of gifts and their likes. Throughout the year, I can keep track of purchases and who I am done with.
  4. As I bring gifts into my home, I’ll wrap them for whatever occasion they will be given. This will free up time next year, when I am busy with other things.
  5. And I’ll be making more of the gifts. Homemade items are from the heart.
  6. I’ll also be trying to get my own personal writing projects completed, or at least mostly so, before the holidays. The editing, writing, and publishing of my own stuff this late in the year is causing increased stress. I don’t want this at the holidays.
  7. Give my room a good cleaning and rearrange the area a little earlier next year, so I don’t have to figure out what I’m doing with all the writing and project stuff after I’m done decorating.

By working on these areas I’ll be freeing up time at the holidays in coming years, as well as saving money. This was, I’ll be able to enjoy the festivities of the year, and spend more time crafting – an activity I really want to start concentrating on again. And I’ll have more time for family and friends, the most important things in my world.

What do you do for your business and in your personal life that helps you get through the holiday season less stressed? Let us know in the comments, or email me at shannonlbuck@gmail.com. I always comment back and answer emails.

Have a wonderful holiday season, no matter what you celebrate.

Shannon L. Buck

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About Shannon L. Buck

Hello. My name is Shannon, and I'm a single mother of two young adult daughters, and Memay to one precious Little Man. I work as a writer from my home in Orono, Maine, and as a Front Desk Agent at an inn. Writing is my life, second only to my daughters. I enjoy writing nonfiction, as well as fiction in a number of genres. At some point, I would like to travel. It would be a true writing adventure.