Preparing for the holidays can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Simply said, the more you simplify, the more you multiply your enjoyment of the season.
Here are 9 secrets to help you not only ‘get through the holidays’, but truly celebrate and enjoy the holidays with your friends and family, too.
- Set a date to STOP decorating. Instead of decorating until the last minute and then taking it all down, allow time to enjoy what you’ve done and be still.
- Forget cleaning. Well, don’t forget it completely, but just do your normal cleaning routine. Deep cleaning, organizing, carpet shampooing, and other heavy duty cleaning may seem necessary, but is it really? Instead, save the heavy cleaning post-holidays and enjoy the season with family and friends.
- Say ‘no’ and carve out time for family. There are always parties, shows, concerts, plays, exhibits, and so much more. Instead of running your family around the entire season, enjoy snuggling under a cozy blanket in front of the fire with a cup of hot chocolate. Saying “no” never felt so peaceful!
- Make sweets and treats simple. Instead of pressuring yourself to bake everything from scratch, make it simple. Purchase plain sugar cookies at the local market and then purchase squeeze tubes of colored icing. Decorating fun and delicious treats made simple!
- Let go of perfection. You’re not Martha Stewart with a huge staff of shoppers, wrappers, bakers, decorators, and more. The house doesn’t have to be professionally decorated. Opt for simple and organic: tree branches, acorns, and holly berries in a shiny bowl make a perfectly rustic holiday centerpiece.
- Don’t pull out the credit cards. Overburdening your financial situation is stressful and can cause problems long after the holidays are over. Spend only what you can afford – and consider homemade, handmade gifts, or simply spend time together with friends and family sans gifts.
- A picture is worth a thousand gifts. Reference #5 above! Instead of overspending, gift a photo. A family photo or a picture of the kids in an inexpensive frame can be the perfect gift for grandparents, family, or friends. And it’s a memorable gift that lasts for years to come.
- Make time for yourself. Holidays can be stressful enough, and when you neglect your exercise, nutrition, and quiet time, that compounds the problem. Make time for a luxurious bubble bath, a pedicure, a walk, and other activities that revive you.
- Do what you love. If you love the music, stop and listen to the sounds daily. If you love to bake, by all means, bake treats for your family and friends. And if you love the giving spirit of the season, volunteer at a soup kitchen and give more than money can buy. Make the holidays yours by doing what you love.