Press Releases


Melville, NY, November 10, 2003
The joy of the holiday season becomes lost in the shuffle of frantic shoppers, over-priced gadgets and endless options for dinner. Is it possible to salvage any delight during the holiday season?  Yes, says Sharon Mann, an organizational expert at Esselte -- a leader in office solutions and known for its Pendaflex® brand of filing products.  She says that the key to a stress-free and pleasant holiday season is organization, and offers the following tips to make your holiday season less exhausting and more enjoyable.

  1. Holiday Shopping Make a List:  Shopping for holiday gifts can be an overwhelming and stressful chore if you are have not planned it out in advance, so Mann insists that you must make a list. Walk into each store knowing exactly what you need for each person on your shopping list, and be sure to includes sizes, color, make and model.  Blindly walking into a store with no plan of attack can bring out your animal instincts, causing you to tear away at rack after rack in a wide-eyed panic, desperately trying to find something for Uncle Eddie.  The list will help you remain in control of the holidays

  1. Begin Shopping Early: The old saying the early bird gets the worm is never truer than during the holidays. Mann says that if you plan ahead and buy your holiday gifts early, you can avoid the last-minute crazed rush to purchase almost anything left on the shelf, and give yourself more time to personalize each gift.

    1. Keep Track of Your Receipts: Mann suggests creating a specific folder to keep track of receipts. This will help you stay on top of your spending, as well as make it easy for gifts to be returned.  And remember, she warns, tax time is right around the corner, and you will soon need all of those receipts when you are sorting through your 2003 expenditures.

    1. Watch Your Bread:  Everyone knows that too much bread on your plate can lead to an expanding waist line, but what about the bread in your wallet?  The holidays can be the most expensive time of the year, and even more costly if you have a large family, many close colleagues or a big gift-giving nature, causing the bread in your wallet to shrink. Mann says this can be avoided if you are realistic. Plan how much dough you can afford to spend on each person, and if you can, purchase gifts as a group with co-workers and other family members to cut down on your expenses.

    1. Label Wrapped Gifts:Be sure to label your gifts - especially important when you use the same wrapping paper for all of your gifts. There is nothing more embarrassing than Mom opening up a very personal gift meant for your spouse, says Mann, so a label maker can be very handy in identifying which gift belongs to which person.

      1. List Greeting Card Recipients: Mann recommends that you prepare a Holiday Greeting Card list and include all friends, family and colleagues to whom you would like to send cards this year, and be sure that all address information is updated. This will save you hours of time later by having one complete list to check off as you send your greeting cards, advises Mann. And dont forget to buy stamps early to avoid the long lines at the Post Office.

      1.  Arrange Travel Early: For many, holiday time means traveling, so save yourself the aggravation of scurrying around for last minute flights, cars, trains and buses by planning your trip as early as possible. Do your homework by researching the area of where you are going before you get there.  Make sure you know exactly where youre going by calling your hotel or your relatives for directions before you get on the road, advises Mann, and be aware of appropriate attire, car service/car rental information, currency exchange, and the distance between the airport and your destination.

      1. Jump Start Your Party Plans:  Since a successful party requires planning, begin weeks prior to the date of the event. Avoid the hassle of last minute juggling by planning your guest list, menu, decorations and entertainment in advance.  Early preparation is the key to any occasion, whether your event is a Masquerade ball, a potluck dinner, an office Christmas party or a small cocktail social for New Years Eve, says Mann. 

        1.  Plan Dinner Menu:  If you are hosting a dinner at your house, plan your menu in advance. Create a list of ingredients needed to prepare each dish, and remember to check with your guests to be certain that no one has any food allergies to what you plan to serve, says Mann. Once you have your menu set, make certain you have every ingredient that you need in hand to avoid ill-timed runs to the store. 

        1. Use an Organizer: Before the frenzy of the holiday season falls upon you, take time out to create a special holiday calendar.  This calendar should contain detailed plans for each day leading up to the season.  Be careful to pace yourself and spread out all your obligations on various days so that you can feel relaxed and prepared once the holidays roll around, counsels Mann.

        Mann notes that above all, the most important tip to remember is to remain calm.


        If you begin to feel any holiday pressure, first take a deep breath, and then check your lists and calendars for the next item to-do, she says. And if you stay on track and organized, you might even find time for a full day of shopping for yourself.


        Sharon Mann is an organizational expert for Esselte Corporation (, the worlds leading maker of innovative organizing products including Pendaflex brand hanging file folders. Mann also serves as president of the Pendaflex I Hate Filing club (, a dedicated group of nearly 100,000 office professionals who dislike filing but enjoy finding new ways to become more organized and more productive in the workplace.

Esselte Corporation

225 Broadhollow Road, Suite 300
Melville, NY 11747
United States

Hours of Operation

Monday to Friday: 8:30am - 5:30 pm Eastern

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