HoliDAZE? Marcia to the rescue…

I am happy to have as my guest today my friend, colleague and neighbor Marcia Ramsland. Marcia is the most organized person I know so it’s no wonder her moniker is the Organizing Pro. She’s multi-published on the topic of organization, and the best part is, she started out like the rest of us: busy with kids and a homelife and done in by too many details and the tyranny of disorganization. She’s  this week releasing an updated version of her holiday organizing book (available on her website for a special sale price) just in time for the busy weeks ahead. Read all the way to the end to see how you can win one plus an accompanying devotional book.

Marcia, thanks for being here today! Let’s start off with a talking about why do we get so stressed out about the holidays? They’re supposed to be treasured times!

The stress comes from an already full life we all live complicated by additional holiday details and activities on our already busy schedule: gift shopping, greeting cards, Christmas decorations, and additional social activities to celebrate the season. We need about 2 more hours a day to keep up with everything… or we need to simplify by doing some additional easy planning ahead. It can be done. Simplify the Holiday Season is the answer to the stress we feel at the holidays.
What motivated you to put together this book? Did you have to live through some crazy Christmases to figure out how to celebrate a memorable holiday without going nuts?
Ah, yes! My gift is to write, teach and speak about how to live an organized life so you can have more time and less stress. Once we had completed my original flagship book and DVD study, Simplify Your Life, Get Organized and Stay that Way, I really wanted to help women simplify the busiest time of the year- the holidays.

After staying up wrapping gifts on Christmas Eve one year too many, I actually spread out my calendars the next week and figured out how to simplify the season. The secret was to not wait until after Thanksgiving to trigger holiday action plan, but to use November 1 to remember there are now 8 weeks until Christmas! Hence the Holiday Season Calendar Plan evolved and has rescued many harried women and families including my own. Last year I was Sam’s Club Spokesperson for Entertaining for the Holidays. You will feel like you’ve arrived when you follow this plan.
What is unique about Simplify Your Holiday Season?
The unique features include the 8-Week, 4-Week, 2-Week Calendar Plans for whenever you begin. There is a Planning Pocket in the front of the book that you can use year after year to include the free Calendar downloads for that current year, including a Master Gift List (available for anyone at http://www.OrganizingPro.com/holidays.

The book premise is we have “Things to Do, Places to Go, and People to See!” I walk the reader through each of those including gifts, decorating, cards, event planning, making the most of your limited time, and new celebration ideas for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. I’ve included 10 Tips from Lifestyle Experts to learn how to celebrate without gaining weight, bargain Gift Shopping, Relationship Tips, Decorating Your Holiday home tips, and even Food Tips to Impress Your Guests.
What are some of the things we do at Christmastime that are the first things we should trim off the list altogether?
Ironically we have to add before we can subtract. We need to add an organized calendar with our plans, organize a Master Gift List, and Christmas card list. From there we can subtract too many gifts to buy, too many cards to send, and too many decorations. That’s when we can subtract.
What are three quick things we can do right now to ease the chaos to come?
#1- Pick a date to start your Holiday Season of writing a Gift List, check your wrapping supplies, and when you’ll put up your decorations.
#2- Remember most social events happen the three weeks before Christmas so avoid the stress by getting shopping and cards done before Thanksgiving.
#3 – Donate excess holiday decorations right away so charities and other people can benefit from them this year.
Tell us about the devotional book you wrote to complement the book.
To prepare our hearts and homes for the real meaning of Christmas, it takes more than just wrapping gifts and putting up decorations. So I wrote a purse size Devotional for December 1-25 that leads us through a verse a day of the Christmas story to the birth of Christ on Christmas Day. You’ll feel ready to celebrate the real meaning of Christmas that way.
 What are you hoping your readers will come away with after they read Simplify Your Holiday Season?
I’d love my readers to come away with the feeling “I can do this!” It’s simple yet profound when you look at the Calendar plan and what to do each week. And the book is filled with tips galore that will help you think of ways to simplify and yet have a meaningful Thanksgiving,  Christmas, and New Year’s without feeling overcommitted or underprepared.

With a little extra planning, the holiday season can become a time to look forward to – a time with family and friends, beautiful decorations, homemade cooking, special events and giving from your heart. I end the book by saying, “Remember the holidays are as much a matter of organization as they are a matter of the heart. Get better at both each year to fully enjoy the holiday season from now on.”

Susan here! So there you have it! You might also want to know that Marcia will host a free Holiday Club Class on November 8. You can sign up for free at:

Now would you like to win a copy of Marcia’s book and devotional? Just leave a comment here on the blog before midnight PST  next Sunday (Nov. 11). A winner will be drawn by random.org and announced next Monday morning.

Author: Susan

This post has 8 Comments

  1. Pattie on November 5, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    I would love to make the holidays a bit more organized! Thanks, Susan!

  2. Sarah on November 5, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    That’s a great tip about getting things done before Thanksgiving. I always buy the cards before, but hardly ever get them completed until it’s almost too late to mail them out…:(

  3. karenk on November 5, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    thanks for sharing susan…please add my name to your giveaway.

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  4. June on November 6, 2012 at 2:02 am

    Being organized and having a wonderful devotional to keep my mind focused on the true meaning of Christmas sounds wonderful! Thanks, Susan

  5. bonnie on November 6, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    I’m always wrapping gifts Christmas eve, even though I shop all year long – always seem to have last minute gifts to wrap. Would love to win your books – thanks!


  6. sharon m. on November 7, 2012 at 3:24 am

    I am an organized person because I use books like these to keep everything in the right place and not miss a thing, most of the time. Would love this book for 2013.

  7. Mary Preston on November 7, 2012 at 9:22 am

    I find that by being organized I am less stressed about everything. Always a good thing.


  8. Susan on November 12, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Congratulations Karen K! Random.org has selected the number 3 out of seven and you are the third commenter! Send me the snail mail address you would like me to use and I will pop it in the mail for you. Thanks for commenting, everyone!

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