Every year I envision lots of time in between Halloween & Christmas and every year without fail I find myself without ‘enough’ time. It’s not like I lose days each year, but Halloween SEEMS so far away from Christmas. Until it’s not.
This year I’m a lot more intentional about how I’m preparing and managing my time through the holidays. It’s a good thing because we decided to host Christmas this year for friends and family. Ahhhh!
Here’s what I’m committing to this year to hopefully
make the holidays stress-free
1 Make a list … and check it twice
For both you and Santa. I keep 3 different Christmas lists with me each year.
- Gifts / Cards – a master list of everyone I need to purchase gifts for OR send a card to. I hold on to previous years’ lists so I can remember who we typically buy for and WHAT I got them last year. (you can see where I’m going with this 🙂 ).
- Master To-Do List – I organize this in to two categories: Things I can do at home and things I need to do outside of our house (for example, mail gifts). Then I sort the list by week. I attribute my organization over the holidays to this weekly holiday to do list.
- Meals / Groceries – After sorting my groceries by type (dairy, bread, produce, etc), I sort based one WHEN the meal is taking place. No need in buying salad for Christmas dinner in November. This is a handy trick for those of you who will be making meals for several different holiday events.
2 Be choosy with Christmas activities
Yes sometimes you may have one too many parties to attend, but don’t forget about the other Christmas ‘activities’ that eat up time. Do you really need to spend hours writing and sending Christmas cards to 100 of your closest acquaintances? Is it REALLY necessary to try out that incredible but complicated dessert recipe from Pinterest for a neighbor’s party? Is this the year your dream of creating the most amazing Martha Stewart DIY Christmas tree has to come true? If you love doing these things then by all means … more power to you (and I’d love one of your handmade Christmas cards)! But if this stresses you out, there’s no reason to add it to the list.
3 Rescue me
Sometimes no matter how detailed that to-do list is, the stress can get to you. During a season that should be filled with fun times amongst family & friends, stress can be extra frustrating. Skip the glass of wine after a long day and opt for a natural stress reliever, such as products from Rescue. Rescue comes in a couple different forms like Rescue Pastilles and Rescue Remedy Spray. The Rescue Pastilles are chewable candies while the spray can be sprayed directly on your tongue. Both are natural gentle remedies, perfect for the occasional stressful holiday moment. Use at the end of a long day or take with you on the go when the chaotic holiday shopping gets the best of you.
Affordable and easy to find at a variety of stores near you.
4 The early bird catches the worm
There’s no reason to squeeze in all your Christmas to-dos the week before Christmas. Heck, I’m supportive of decorating your home for Christmas in early November if it puts your mind to ease. Also, once you’ve got your Christmas grocery list created, start stocking up on the non-perishable items ahead of time.
And let’s not forget about Christmas gifts … in my family those are bought throughout the entire year 🙂 .
5 Get help
Just because you have a master list of one too many to-do items, that doesn’t mean YOU have to do them all. In charge of bringing a dessert to the neighborhood Christmas pot-luck? If you’re anything like me, you’re heading straight to your local bakery instead of mixing any eggs, milk and flour yourself.
Ditto on house cleaning. I’m not one to hire a cleaning service (cleaning is my cardio), but I will make an exception for busy holidays.
But not all activities need to be outsourced to the professionals. I host cookie baking gatherings with my girlfriends each year in early December. By the time the party is over I have gifts of delicious cookies for all my coworkers. Plus I already hosted my first Christmas gathering of the season.
Consider how much your time and sanity is worth to you and outsource accordingly.
6 Stop the shopping frenzy
I’m sure you can guess where this tip is headed …. online shopping is the number one Christmas sanity saver. Why go store to store looking for that one specific item when you can check a couple websites AND get it delivered. With so many stores competing for your business during the holidays, you can bet on great shipping deals, if not free shipping.
Now I actually try to skip gift exchange as much as I’m able to. Little knickknacks and unnecessary trinkets aren’t what I want sitting around my house, so I hate giving them to others. So instead of gifts to my girlfriends, we make a date in January to go out for fancy cocktails and dinner. Even Joe & I don’t often exchange gifts unless it’s something we’ve told each other we want.
This must be a sign of getting older when the first thing I think of when I hear ‘gift exchange’ is clutter 🙂 .
7 Avoid the rush
The holiday season is NO season for last minute errands or one item trips to the grocery store. Pull out that shopping list and don’t let it go. I get a lot more thoughtful and intentional in my errand running trips during the holiday season. Traffic is more congested, check out lines are longer and availability is more scarce.
Anytime I’m out and about, I combine regular errands with Christmas shopping. This has drastically cut down on the hours I spend shopping for Christmas.
8 Sticking with routines
Nothing makes one feel out of sorts like huge shifts in a routine. Yes, there may be some things that you should definitely put off during the holiday season (deep cleaning your home), but other things to try to stick with. For example, if you typically go running each morning, try not to skip too many times during the holidays.
After several years of attempting to get EVERYTHING ready for the holidays over one weekend, I’ve learned the value of spacing out activities (both the fun ones and the chores). For example, instead of getting all our Christmas decorations out and ready in ONE day, it took me a couple weeks. We bought our tree one weekend and pulled out the tree decorations on another. Then the following weekend we decorated the rest of the house.
9 Next year’s Christmas
Not only is January the best time to buy all your Christmas supplies as they’re heavily discounted, but it’s also a great time for you to mentally recap your holiday preparation. Anything that worked especially well? Anything that you would change for next year?
Hoping your holiday season is completely stress-free!
*This post was sponsored by Rescue.