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Let peace on Earth begin with Momma

The holidays are fast approaching, and I know you just wish you could run away from them and hide till after New Year's. We all know that is not going to happen, and one way or another the holidays are going to arrive. That day can be filled with the excitement and joy or the stress of another year that didn't live up to your expectations. Here is the fun part! You get to choose.

Every year we put off till the last minute all the things that need to be done to prepare for the holidays. The result is a hostess who is worn out and yelling at the family right up until the time dinner guests arrive. What fun is that! There is no joy in your home when Momma is yelling and stressed out. Everyone is walking on eggshells, afraid to do anything for fear that it will be wrong and the tirade will begin again. Is that the holiday memory you want to leave with your children?

Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with you. You set the tone for your home! You are the event coordinator and you can make this holiday season a joy for everyone in your home. It all can happen if you will take baby steps to get all the things done that you are used to putting off till the last minute.

We are the queen of procrastinators. We never think we have time so we put things off till a big block of time occurs. The trouble with this scenario is that we run out of time and we end up rushing to get the house decorated, meals cooked and presents purchased. As the final countdown begins there are not enough hours in a day and we stay up later and later. We drag around pushing ourselves past the point of exhaustion wishing the days away and dreading every moment.

I want you to stop procrastinating about holiday planning and preparation. With a few minutes each day we can set ourselves up for a joyous time with our family.

We all know what has to be done. I have written a Holiday Control Journal for you to download and begin to use. It is not too late! Get started today. I have even done 30 holiday missions for you. They are up on our Web site along with some video clips to get you inspired. Put on some holiday music and take out your Holiday Control Journals and join our cruise through the holidays with a peaceful attitude guiding your way.

We have assigned a theme to each day of the week.

Mondays are our "Clean and Fling Day." After all, it is hard to have people over or even decorate if the house is a mess. On Mondays we get rid of our clutter, make room for the decorations and prepare guest rooms.

Tuesday is our "Plan and Play Day." We do love to make lists and think about how we want the holidays to be. On Tuesdays we put up our feet, grab a cup of something comforting and look at our calendars and Holiday Control Journals. A little planning now will help the play later on in the day. Tuesday is also the day we implement some of our planning. You know those appointments for haircuts, car service and dog boarding. Your Holiday Control Journal will help you every baby step of the way.

Wednesdays are always "Anti-procrastination Day." This is the day we wrap those presents and address those greeting cards. Use this day to do those things you have been putting off! Set your timer and just do it!

Thursday is our "Go and Do Day." This is when you take your lists and start to purchase some of the food and gifts that you have written in your Holiday Control Journal.

Friday is our "Budget Don't Begrudge It Day." If we don't keep a handle on our holiday spending, it will control us all this next year. Set a budget and stick to it. You will thank me next year when those astronomical credit card bills are not screaming at you and making you feel guilty.

Start today! You are not behind. Jump in where you are and you will find peace this holiday season! Take care of yourself during this process because if Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!

Marla Cilley, a k a FlyLady, is the author of "Sink Reflections" (Bantam Books Trade Paperback). For more help, please go to her Web site: © 2005