Monday’s Double Shot:Hanukkah & Birthday Week Organization

I must say, this is quite the busy week in the Rockmore house.

Hanukkah started last Friday night and while it officially ends this Friday the 18th, for us it isn’t over until the last Hanukkah party we are hosting is done and that is Sunday the 20th. But that is only part of the story. This week is also my husband, Adam’s, birthday (the 17th) so that means it is Birthday Week as well. What exactly is birthday week? Well for us (meaning Adam and I) we celebrate each other’s birthdays for an entire week. Yep. An entire week. Now this is great fun when it is my birthday (June) but a lot of work when it is Adam’s birthday (this week!).

This week I am glad I have our Buttoned Up tips handy on getting organized.

There are 3 of them I need to apply:
(1) Ditch Perfection – Well I live that one everyday and that means things like frozen Trader Joe latkes instead of homemade and gifts that may or may not be wrapped.
(2) Embrace the 80/20 Rule – There are things that are just not going to get done this week and that is okay. I am probably not going to get post on ebay done to see my Olympic tickets. I am not going to start my book club book that I need to get read soon. And many more things on my list….
(3) Delegate to Others – This is my theme for the week and everyone is helping me out. My sister, Susan, is making the brisket for the last Hanukkah party we are having. Our friends are bringing wine for one of the Adam events of the week. Even Lucy (my 7 year old) is going to clean her room and set up all the dradle stuff and gelt for the parties.

My hope is that the organization I am putting into practice this week might give you some ideas you can use to save you time, money or both over the next few crazy weeks.

Here is my schedule:
December 14 – 4 people over for Game Night and Adam’s Bday. Hanukah
December 15 – Hanukkah Give Back Night where we don’t do gifts but give to charity
December 16 – Hanukkah – Family Gift Night – buy one gift (e.g. family game) that all of us will enjoy.
December 17 – Adam’s Bday – Cake, dinner out, presents
December 18 – Last night of Hanukkah. Make latkes.
December 19 – Hanukah Party #2 (#1 was last week) at our house
December 20 – Hanukah Party #3 at our house too

Given all of this going on along with getting ready for a two week trip and holiday shopping for relatives, friends, etc… you can see why this upcoming week is completely nuts.

That being said, once I put together a game plan and mapped it all out, my stress completely disappeared. Here are my tips that I am doing this week and you might consider too:
1. Exchange It – A great way to save money and time is to consider doing gift exchanges for family members, parties, etc.. I am doing them for the parties I am having as well as for my extra large family. Who really needs more stuff? No one. By doing this, everyone has a better shot of getting one thing they will really like and you have so much less to shop for and money to lay out. This one is a must!
2. Cry Out For Help – When people ask if they can “bring something”, resist the temptation to say no or to bring “anything” and actually tell them to bring something that can help you out. For our party on the 19th, my friend, Susie, is picking up take out dinner for that night. On the 20th, my sister, Susan, is making brisket. When people offer, take them up on it. And if they don’t offer, ask for help!
3. Short Stuff – Shortcuts are a girl’s best friend. On a week like this, I am looking at short cuts galore. From using paper plates to help clean up for at least one of the parties to reusing decorations a few times, I am all about taking the easy way on things that don’t really matter. And it saves valuable time and money!
4. Plan Ahead If You Can – It may be too late now but always plan ahead and get as much stuff out of the way as possible. This is helping me out this week in a big way. Shopping is done (mostly on line). I bought at a great price all of my Hanukah decorations, candles, and candy. And so on and so on.
5. Have Fun With It – Perhaps the most important tip. This week is going to be all about Adam’s birthday and making him feel special and Lucy’s Hanukkah joy. That is what is important and what I focus on the rest can be perfectly imperfect!