Turn holiday madness into a stress-free celebration

Welcome to Day 15 of the
25 Days of Ottawa Life
Christmas Calendar

We’ll be updating with a
new treat daily so be sure
to keep checking under the
OLM Tree to see what’s new.

This December, check off your holiday to-do list in style, all while balancing your family, friends and work responsibilities.

“Our time is always a valuable asset,” says Magali Lacerte-Tremblay, vice president of industrial engineering at UPS. “Maximize the amount you spend enjoying the season by staying organized and prepared for what's ahead.”

Keep cool and remain stress-free with these organization tips.

1. Plan in advance. Whether you're buying gifts for loved ones or cooking for the family, it's important to plan ahead. Make a to-do list and plan to tackle one thing per day to help ease strain.

2. Mark important dates in your calendar. Highlight important dates, especially if tasks require multiple steps. If you're sending gifts to friends and family, be mindful of shipping cutoff dates to ensure your presents arrive on time.

3. Buy gifts online. Eliminate the hassle of finding a parking spot and shop from the couch. Shipping packages directly to the doorstep of a loved one or a convenient pick-up location takes the task of gift wrapping off your to-do list, as many online retailers offer to take care of this for you.

4. Manage shipments. Services such as UPS My Choice make it easier for your loved ones to get shipment alerts and track their gifts. If the sweater is not the right size, they can also return shipments easily at an access point, such as the UPS store, grocery stores or other local businesses in their neighbourhood.

5. Stay within budget. Set a budget and stick to it. At the end of the season you'll be proud of yourself and will feel confident when you receive your credit card bill.

6. Take a pause. In all the commotion that comes with the holidays, we sometimes forget to look after ourselves. Balance spending busy social time with rest, relaxation and quiet time at home.