Plan Amazing

Dr. Linda Hancock


Dr. Hancock has written a regular weekly column entitled “All Psyched Up” for newspapers in two Canadian provinces for more than a dozen years. Over the years, her readers and clients have said that they have benefited from her common-sense solutions, wisdom, and sense of humour. Dr. Linda Hancock, the author of “Life is An Adventure…every step of the way” and “Open for Business Success” is a Registered Psychologist who has a private practice in Medicine Hat. She can be reached at 403-529-6877 or through email


November 26 2023

All Psyched Up. | | Plan Amazing | by Dr. Linda Hancock | Published November 26 2023 | Revised March 30 2024

© 2022, Dr. Linda Hancock INC.

Is it just me or are the months passing faster and faster with every year?  It seems like I just took the decorations down and now it is time to put them back up.


Many people find that the Christmas season arrives and leaves while they are in a state of overwhelm.  They don’t even have time to enjoy it because they are so stressed and busy.


Planning is an important process for anything but especially for the holiday season that adds many more demands to schedules that are already full.


Now that we are entering December, I am offering some ideas that hopefully will help you have a wonderful month:


  1. Define the purpose: Christians celebrate Christmas as the birthday of Jesus.  It is a very spiritual time filled with services and traditions.  Others view Christmas as an opportunity to see family members.  Many focus on the fact that they can have extra days away from the workplace.  Interestingly, those who are first responders might prepare themselves for busy shifts.  Christmas means many different things to different people.  Determine exactly what it means for you.
  2. Schedule the priorities: What are the events that you want to attend? Are there concerts, parties or gatherings that are important to you?  How many different family groups are you entertaining or invited to visit?  Make sure that you give yourself permission to say “no” without guilt because you can’t do everything and expect to survive with peace and grace.  Update the calendar today and remember to block off time for you.
  3. Plan your giving: Even Santa makes a list and checks it twice.  I find it easiest to give exactly the same gift to all the adult grandchildren, which saves time and shows fairness.  I look for practical items that will be used rather than trends or fads.  Those under eighteen get musical or educational items.  Because there are many, many charities that also ask you to give and it is important to create and stick to a donation budget. 
  4. Volunteer: Perhaps you are willing to help serve a meal to those who would otherwise be alone or wrap gifts in the mall as a fundraiser.  My mother used to take boxes of oranges to families who were financially struggling and made homemade candy which she delivered to the “shut ins”.  How might you share your time and talents to bring joy to others?
  5. Keep it simple: Think of ways that you can delegate or hire services so that you can focus on being available for the things that only you can do.  Perhaps hiring a housekeeper, buying baking at a sale rather than making it or creating less labour-intensive menus would be wise.  Gift bags are easier than wrapping paper and tape. One Christmas letter can be sent to your whole list by mail or social media. 
  6. Be your best you: Begin planning your wardrobe for the upcoming events. Do you need to order new gloves for the outdoor activities or have a clothing item dry cleaned for a dress up event?  Don’t wait until the last week. Many things such as these can be done now.  Also, ensure that you will have enough sleep and good nutrition this month.  Everything is handled better when you are rested and nourished.
  7. Know your limits: Consuming too much alcohol, sugar, caffeine or even shopping might feel like a temporary fix but will likely result in negative consequences.


Wouldn’t it be amazing if everyone just lived like the Christmas carols or cards? We would exude love, joy, and peace.  Why not make that your goal and theme for this year? 


Here’s the affirmation:

I am creating a beautiful month of giving and receiving that feeds my soul and the lives of others.

All Psyched Up. | The Eighteenth Year | Plan Amazing | by Dr. Linda Hancock | Published November 26 2023 | Revised March 30 2024

© 2022, Dr. Linda Hancock INC.