Let’s talk about how to have an organized and stress free Christmas! The holidays are supposed to be a time of relaxing and spending time with loved ones – not at a time of running around trying to get 52 last minute things done.
Here are my top 5 tips to have a stress free Christmas:
So this sounds simple, right? The concept is easy, but it can be harder to put into practice. The bottom line is to simplify wherever and however you can. The first way and most effective way to do this is to cut projects, events, and activities out altogether. Whenever you cross something off your list entirely it frees up both time and brain space (and sometimes literal space).
If there are things you can’t cut out entirely, you may be able to streamline them. For example, instead of taking an entire Saturday to make beautiful handmade gifts for everyone you know (teachers, mail people, and people like that), you could instead spend 10 minutes buying everyone a $5 Starbucks gift card. They will still know that you thought of them, and who doesn’t love a gift card?
- Parties and events that aren’t all that important to you
- Give fewer gifts to your family members or get one large family gift
- Don’t decorate or decorate less (fewer rooms, fewer decorations)
- As mentioned above, give giftcards instead of time-consuming handmade gifts
- Simplify holiday meals: fewer dishes or simpler dishes
I’d also love to hear what ideas you have. Leave your ideas in the comments here on Facebook.
Do what works for you.
This goes very much hand in hand with simplifying. It’s okay not to do things that everyone else does or to things just because you’ve always done them. This will help give you permission to cut things out and radically simplify.
For example, if you are decorating every room in your home just because you’ve always done it, but you don’t really love it, then don’t do it this year. Instead, put up one tree in a main area and be done.
For the past three years, I have not put up any Christmas decorations – not even a Christmas tree!!! And guess what? Nothing bad happened, and I was less stressed. I didn’t have to take the time to put up the tree, and I also didn’t have to store and move a bunch of Christmas decorations. I know this wouldn’t work for everyone, but it worked great for us. I think this will be the first year in a while that we do put up a tree because things are calmer in our life in general and my oldest is old enough to really enjoy it.
If you love decorating every square inch of your home and it doesn’t stress you out, then go for it!! That’s great – but don’t do it just because you feel like you “should.”
Get things done ahead of time.
The sooner you can get things done, the better. If you adopt this mentality all year, December will be much easier.
You can usually buy (and even wrap) gifts pretty far in advance. The best case scenario is to keep a running gift list and be buying gifts year-round, one at a time. You can even save some money if you do this because you can buy things when they are on sale.
Also, you can do some cooking and baking ahead and freeze it.
As with most things, planning is the key to being less stressed. That way you know what all you have going on and what you need to do when. You can get everything out of your head and onto paper.
Don’t set expectations too high.
One huge source of stress is setting expectations too high and expecting every holiday moment to be magical. We all want to create beautiful memories with our loved ones. However, not everything will always go as planned (especially if you have little ones around). That’s okay. You’ll only set yourself for frustration and disappointment if you expect too much.
I hope this advice helps you, and that you and yours have a holly jolly season in the way that works best for your people!