This is where the list comes in handy. List making isn't for everyone, but I find it to be almost theraputic, if not an entirely helpful way to organize my thoughts. And I like to make lists on a piece of paper with a pen or pencil, not on my phone. Do whatever works for you, but organize your list into categories.
1. Make a list of things you would like to do and organize them in order of importance.
Longwood Gardens to see the lights,
decorate the front of the house,
put up the tree,
These are things you would like to do but the world isn't going to end if they don't happen. I like to do this list first because you may end up writing down way more things than what is actually physically possible...but the act of actually writing them makes them more real and having written them means you can usually narrow down the top three which makes them much more accessible.
2. Make a list of the social engagements that are mainly optional and again put them in order of importance to you:
Friends arrive!-December 19th
Work Luncheon-December 23rd
Church with mom-December 24th
3. Make a list of the chores that need doing but that you really don't feel like doing. I like to save this for last because it can be so daunting and after you've already thought of the fun stuff, you can usually narrow down the chores that absolutely need to be taken care of without letting the stress of it take over.
Rake the yard before Mother comes to visit
Clean out the closets
Obviously, depending on how much of a list maker you are, you may want to make a list of gifts you need to purchase so you can keep track. I have failed to do this in the past and I think it's worth a shot this year...
So after you've made your lists, put them somewhere where you might see them, like the fridge, but don't worry about carrying them around with you. Just the sheer act of having written your thoughts down will help to ease a little bit of the stress of worrying about all the things you have to do. It's almost like now that it's on paper, you don't have to carry the thoughts around in your brain for a little while...you know the lists are there to remember for you. Consult them from time to time to see if you're where you would like to be, but don't beat yourself up if things don't get done...because they won't.