As promised yesterday, I am sharing a suggestion from the first chapter of the book Get Yourself Organized for Christmas by Kathi Lipp. **
I actually marked the passage and then wrote “Genius!” out to the side.
But let me forewarn all who venture here to journey with me on a daily basis.
Some of you can totally relate to me and the way I am wired and some of you can at least hopefully glean some insight into your family and friends who drive you crazy.
So as I share this EUREEKA!! moment of enlightenment today, I am picturing a few of my dear friends who struggle not at all with indecisiveness and hesitancy to complete tasks.
I can imagine you shaking your head and possibly dismissing this as nonsense….but for those who are like me and for those who are not…this is useful because people like me are not being difficult or stubborn…we just lack direction in how to direct others….let alone ourselves…
In the opening pages of the this book, Kathi writes about the scenario that invariably occurs in a kitchen when friends and family gather for holiday meals.
I would add that this will apply to ANYTIME you have opened your home for entertaining guests throughout the year.
She writes on page 17:
“Every year we have people over for our celebration, and the most common question is, ‘How can I help?’…In the heat of the moment…I’m almost always at a loss for how to direct people on how to assist.”*
I so understand this.
When I prepare a meal for guests, you will find stashed in a drawer a stack of the recipes, a timetable for preparation, oven settings, additions to be made to each dish and the time frame to make it happen and what to pull out of the fridge five minutes before they will arrive.
But when the meal is over and one to nine women are gathered in the kitchen with me amidst stacks of dirty dishes and food that must be stored away, I become overwhelmed.
Russ attempts to gently remind me before guests arrive that they will want to help clean up and to be nice when that happens…he truly is my better half.
When I read Kathi’s words, I felt understood.
It’s not that I don’t appreciate the help, it’s just that I find my head spinning as I am being asked a variety of questions and decision making is something that takes me quite some time to commit to…and if you don’t believe me, simply pull out that drawer I mentioned and look through all the recipes I weeded out…the adjustments to the schedule I made to tweak my timing…etc…etc….
So what is the solution to my dilemma?
Kathi suggests pre-planning for those who will want to help.
Take all that hyper-planning gift a step further so that I am prepared for the inevitable.
For me, this would mean having containers already in place for the leftovers, and Lord help me, room in the fridge for them to stash it! It involves knowing in advance what can go in dishwasher and what will need hand-washing and helping the helpers help.
It’s not cheating to have a list of ways people could help me with clean up so that I am not left offending my sweet friends and family because I can’t process all the questions and end up alienating the people I worked so hard to make at home in our house.
I am looking forward to applying this knowledge, not only for the holidays but for our get-togethers throughout the coming year.
Such a simple concept, Kathi ends the chapter with the truth that a little planning in advance for how others can help will bring much relief to the hostess, her guests and her poor husband who loves her in spite of herself.
Be blessed <3
If you are interested…here are the resources and information for the book <3
* Get Yourself Organized for Christmas, Kathi Lipp; Harvest House Publishers, 2015, p 17
**Information on how to order book: