Friday, December 28

Post Christmas Debrief

Anyone who's ever worked in events management will tell you that events don't end when you've washed the last dish and flicked off the lights for night. They aren't truly over until you've completed the post event debrief. Whether you had a smashing success, a train wreck or a run-of-the-mill affair, its essential to spend a few minutes in reflection and review, making notes for next time. 

In this respect, holidays at home are no different than commercial events. So make yourself a cup of a tea and carve out a couple minutes to do a little thinking.

Ask yourself a few basic questions.
  1. What went really well this Christmas? What did I enjoy/ appreciate most?
  2. What did not go well?  What was stressful?
  3. What did I learn that I want to remember for next year, and what's the best way to make sure I don't forget?
The key here is really question #3. Hindsight is exceptionally revealing, but memory is easily subsumed and blurred under the chaos of life throughout the rest of the year. It all seems vivid now, but if you don't do something to prompt your memory, you're going to forget. End of story.
Consider using one of these simple methods to ensure your valuable lessons from this holiday season don't get lost:

 1. Start a Pinterest Board (or three). I know Pinterest isn't for everyone, but it has been a tremendously helpful tool for me. Creating a "gifts" board and pinning ideas throughout the year greatly simplified holiday shopping (and hugely reduced the stress involved). You could do the same with anything - decorations or supplies you noticed you needed, menu ideas/suggestions, helpful hints/tips or even traditions to remember or start.

2. Write a bucket list. Right now is the perfect time to write next year's bucket list. Put the things you loved or regret not making time for at the top of the list! Write off the things that disappointed or proved to be a waste of time and energy. Give you post-season perspective a chance to temper the overly-enthusiastic and unrealistic expectations it's so easily to fall prey to at the start of the holiday season.

3. Deploy sticky notes.  Sticky notes are your friend. If you like giving homemade gifts, put a note on your calendar in July reminding you to get started so you aren't rushed and behind when Christmas arrives. Drop a note in September to update your address book and buy stamps, so that when it's time to write out Christmas cards you already have everything you need. A series of little steps taken well in advance will go a long way towards making next holiday season easier and happier.

What lessons did you learn this season?

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