For all its joy and good tidings, the
holiday season can be one of the busiest times of the year, and particularly so for professional women, who are often the event planner, chef, and chief shopper of the family.
It’s not just the gift-buying that makes these workers’ crazed; it’s wrapping up the year at work, attending all the parties, and pulling together the decorations and festivities at home. A recent poll of members of Citi’s Connect: Professional Women’s Network on LinkedIn found that balancing work and holiday tasks is the top stressor professional women experience during the holiday season.
This year, consider outsourcing Christmas, so you can relax. While you’ll have to shell out a little extra cash, having the free time pays off. Linda Descano, president and CEO of Citi’s Women & Co., offers the following strategies to enjoy, rather than juggle, your holiday:
Use a tree delivery service. Instead of lugging home a Christmas tree yourself, some local companies will deliver one to your doorstep. Descano says Uber, which connects passengers with cab drivers in major cities like New York, San Francisco, and Washington, has special holiday offerings that include tree delivery.
Hire someone to shop for you. Why bother with a crowded mall? If you use a service like Kalamazoo Gift, you simply share your shopping list, they purchase the gifts for you, and then they ship them to you already wrapped. Alternatively, you could find one cool item that many on your list would like and buy it in bulk. Or you could give experiences, such as theatre tickets or a season’s pass to a favourite local destination, which can easily be purchased online.
Take advantage of free gift-wrapping. If you do decide to shop yourself, don’t waste time wrestling with wrapping paper and ribbons. Many department stores offer gift-wrapping services, and Descano says Citibank branches are also offering free wrapping in the month of December.
Outsource the cooking. Who wants to be stressed at their own party? If you’re having people over or you’re planning a big meal, Descano advises against doing all of the cooking yourself. Instead, you could order the side dishes from your favourite restaurant, and focus your time on a delicious main dish. You could also divvy up the cooking by asking guests to bring a dish or beverage.
Delegate the decorating. Enlist your family to help with holiday tasks like decorating the house, tree, and table, says Descano. “It will not only ease the stress for you, but it will also get everyone excited for the holidays and feel like they have a special stake in hosting the family’s holiday event.”