For Fern Lehmann, of Richmond, a play-by-play plan is key to taking stress out of the holiday. What works for this mother of four boys -- Brad, 24, Andrew, 19, Eric, 17, and Benjamin, 11 months -- is to "sit down and write a menu of everything I plan to serve." Next to each item, Lehmann notes who will prepare it. Then she makes her grocery list according to the menu. "Write on your calendar which days you are going to do each task," she says. For example, if she's serving dishes that can be prepared in advance, she notes when she'll make them. "You can also jot down when you plan to clean, shop, and decorate your home," she says. "Writing it down helps you visualize your schedule and plan for anything you might have otherwise forgotten."
Copyright © 2007. Used with permission from the November 2007 issue of American Baby magazine.