Really! Happy Holidays with ADHD
The joy of the holiday season can be overshadowed by chaotic, frazzled, over-committed holidays. It is tempting to enjoy all the delights of the season, especially for those with ADHD. To really enjoy your holiday, it helps by setting up strategies for organization and time management. Now is the time to set up systems that empower you and your family throughout the holidays
Create a holiday notebook
Tired of reinventing your holiday activities each year? It is time to start a holiday notebook. In the notebook, create these tabbed pocket dividers with these topics:
- Calendars for this year and the previous year’s activities including holiday traditions
- Gift closet inventory
- Gift list for family, friends, and work
- Tipping list for family hair, nails, and other service providers
- Holiday cards from prior years and for this year
- Vendor list for holiday cards, photographer, ornament purchases, and more
- Meals, menus, and recipes
- Décor and photos from previous years’ decorating
Keeping all this information together helps you save time and energy, as well as stay organized. You may decide from year to year to discontinue one or more activities. Keep it in your notebook for future reference.
Host a family meeting
A family meeting brings everyone together before the holiday season. Post a family calendar for everyone to write dates of upcoming events and parties. Discuss everyone’s favorite activity and be sure that one activity is included on the calendar. Host this meeting the week of Thanksgiving to be sure you are on top of all dates.
Make a list and check it twice
Make a list of everyone’s activities and tasks for the holidays. Now prioritize that list. Knowing what is coming up and deciding what is most important to each family member and yourself helps us be realistic and also have fun. Add these to a calendar to see when activities and events overlap. Start early with this and host a family meeting weekly to be sure to stay on track.
Tracking Rudolf and Santa
We are all ordering online, tracking gifts, and praying for their arrival. Use a dedicated email address for shopping and a folder in your inbox for receipts. Having one place to look for these details saves time and keeps you organized.
Gifts, gifts, and gifts
Getting stuck in finding the perfect gift? Move forward with gift cards, experiences, or a small something that you especially love. There is a reason why Oprah’s favorite gifts are given. Choose a gift-giving strategy that works for you and your budget. Kids and teens love gift cards they can use as they like. Adults appreciate that little gift of self-care such as lip balm. Families love time together at a special event. Being thoughtful is what is most important, not the gift itself.
Holidays are for everyone, including you as head holiday merry-maker. We get over the top with activities and fatigue. Keep routines and self-care a priority to make the most of your holiday joy!
As I’ve gotten older, the whole “buying Christmas gifts” thing has gotten more complicated. I definitely need a tracking system. I use an app, I think it is called “The Christmas List,” that helps me keep track of all my recipients, their gifts, and what stage they are in (e.g., purchased, wrapped, shipping, etc.) I’ve become reliant upon it. I can’t keep things in my head.
Definitely a family meeting is key. I’m always the one who is calling them. Others aren’t always enthusiastic, but it is absolutely necessary.
I love your blend of strategies to stay organized during the holidays but also to not neglect some self-care. It can be such an overwhelming time of year filled with extra gatherings, eating, traveling, and movement. So having some plans in place, along with some boundaries, can make the difference in being stress or joy-filled.
More and more it comes down to us taking care of ourselves to experience so much joy!
Glad you are able to wrangle your crew for a family meeting!