“The joy of brightening other lives, bearing each others’ burdens, easing other’s loads and supplanting empty hearts and lives with generous gifts becomes for us the magic of Christmas.” – W. C. Jones
The holiday season is about love and joy, but for many of us, it can be tiring and stressful. There are mile-long lists of things to be done in a short amount of time, but it doesn’t have to be the Grinch in your holiday. Take back your joy by focusing on these tips to a stress-free holiday!
1. Prepare in advance – With your jam-packed schedule, you may not think some things are even possible to do at any other time than last-minute. However, when you are buying presents right before a get-together, making food right the morning of the potluck, or trying to get packed an hour before you have to be at the airport, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Clearly picturing (or writing down) the timeline of events, what you need to get done, and even the consequences of not doing it on time, or sufficiently, can motivate you to fit these activities in the night before, or even days before, the event.
2. Don’t over-book yourself – The holidays are a time for visiting friends and families, attending parties and dinners, and making sure to get everything done during your few days off work. Remember though, this is still your break. You should be enjoying yourself! If you’re attending every engagement you’re invited to or over-extending yourself with your own family, you’re not going to enjoy it as much. See what you can re-shuffle to make your schedule a little lighter.
3. Take the time to do something you really want to do – The holidays doesn’t have to be all about keeping a strict itinerary; remember to allow time for something you love and cherish, like seeing Christmas lights, going to a show in town with your family, or even something non-holiday related. Spending time with loved ones is a wonderful part of the holidays, but it can add a nice holiday bonus to your season if you squeeze in some personal you time or other nice activity that you look forward to.
4. Try not to overanalyze gifts– If you partake in gift-giving with family or friends, don’t stress yourself. Keep it as simple as possible, while also being thoughtful. This could be in the form of gift baskets, a practical clothing item, or a quirky trinket—all of which can be found at an affordable price! If you’re a creative person, you could find a way to incorporate your talent of video making, scrapbooking, or musicianship into a personal and inexpensive gift.
5. Make it fun – One of the best parts about the holidays is decorating the house with your family, baking Christmas cookies, and listening to the music. Let this season be about joy! Relish in the fun activities that can come out of decorating the Christmas tree, stringing up lights, and placing holiday décor around the home. Find some of your favorite, nostalgic Christmas songs and play them throughout the house while everyone is getting ready. Enjoy an evening baking with your family and learning new things. Focus on fun and love this holiday; make everything you do something worth remembering!