The holidays can be so stressful. There is so much to do, so much I want to do yet it seems I’m always short on time. It probably doesn’t help that I tend to wait until nearly the last minute to do most things. There are ways though to avoid some of the holiday stress and to have more time to enjoy the holiday season. With a big family, and working from home with three little boys, I’ve had to come up with a plan for a Stress Less Holiday Season.
Tips for a Stress Less Holiday Season
Life Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Wonderful
This might be the most important tip I can share and is definitely the most important thing I’ve learned. It’s my new motto. I love the house to be beautifully decorated. I love the tree to be just right, with every ornament perfectly in place. I love my Christmas cookies to look professionally decorated. What I’ve learned though is that none of these things are that important. The house doesn’t have to look perfect to be welcoming and beautiful. The tree looks great when the kids decorate it and the ornaments are scattered too far apart or placed all together. I don’t have to wait for them to go to bed so I can move them around (I’m not the only mom who does this, right?). The kids can help make and decorate the cookies because the people we’ll be sharing them with will love that they come with love from those little hands. Life Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Wonderful!
Do a Little Bit Every Day
Don’t wait until you have hours and hours of time to get things done. Tackle what you can in short, 20-30 minute spans. The kids are napping and it’s quiet. Sit down and address a handful of holiday cards. Take 20 minutes and wrap a few presents you already have and tuck them away. Make a batch of cookie dough and put it in the refrigerator for later. Tidy up a small area and decorate just that space. I almost never have hours and hours uninterrupted to get things done. Oh how I wish I did! I’ve learned to pack in lots of little tasks here and there and I can get a lot accomplished this way. The best part about this is that you can START NOW!
Shop for Gifts and Holiday Needs in Small Bits
Heading to the store for your regular weekly groceries? Take a minute to check the store ads for sale items that would make good gift items for someone on your list. Pick up gifts when you’re going to be shopping anyway rather than waiting for a time where you can get all of your gift buying done all at once. The same goes for holiday grocery items. If you have pantry, refrigerator, and freezer space start stocking up on groceries now. Many holiday food items are on sale already now. Watch for those sale items and by them a little to a time. This makes tip #2 easier to do – if you have gifts on hand you can wrap them here and there and the same with making and freezing food for the holidays.
Take Time to Smell the Pine Boughs
I know, it’s usually time to smell the roses but in the spirit of the holidays we’ll smell the fresh cut pine boughs instead. The holidays aren’t just about the hustle and bustle, they aren’t about things, they aren’t about the decorations. Take time to enjoy the experience, to enjoy your family and friends. Slow down and give up perfect to have more time with those you love. Watch holiday movies, go for a drive and look at Christmas lights, bundle up and build a snowman or make snow angels. Whatever it is you love to do with those you love this year, make the time to do it!
Enjoy the holiday season instead of stressing about what needs to be done or what isn’t perfect. Remember that life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful, especially at the holidays.
What stress less tips do you have for making the holidays more enjoyable?