From writing cards, decorating the house, buying presents, baking, attending various holiday events, hosting guests, driving children around to their parties...this is all in addition to your regular busy schedule!
We need to get comfortable with saying 'no' more and to think about what would actually make us happy at Christmas and stick to what is achievable rather than over committing ourselves.
Start with thinking back to past holiday seasons. Think about the things that went well and things that didn’t…things you might want to change…
for the better.
Ask yourself these questions:
A little contemplation and planning can go a long way in reducing stress around the holidays.
If you're having a little trouble getting started on your prep list, here are a few simple ideas:
1. Donate holiday decorations that don't spark joy
Prepare to haul out bins of decorations and dust off holiday and entertaining dishes. As you’re decorating your home and tree for Christmas, set aside those items you’re not using or no longer loving. It’s the perfect time to donate them and reduce clutter. When you take down your decorations, it’ll be easier to store them, and you’ll know your collection includes only those things that make you happy.
2. Write your Christmas Cards
3. Create a Gift List
This one is important for many reasons such as knowing what to get for whom, the budget for each person and where to purchase the item.
You might consider gifting an experience for those extra special people on your list.
Shopping without a list can be a recipe for disaster. Hopefully you've been adding things to your gift list all year as ideas come up. I find it's much easier to jot things down in the back of my planner as they come up.
4. Check your Wrapping Supplies
5. Simplify your Schedule
Last but certainly not least, avoid holiday overwhelm by being selective about what you commit to.
This is the perfect time to eliminate some things you have “just always done”.
Larger things like parties, concerts, school events etc… will all have specific dates that can’t be moved. These need to be prioritized so that other things can be accommodated around them.
A party or event that you are hosting will obviously add the need for extra prep work so consider it carefully.
Trying to cram in extra commitments on top of your regular schedule is a recipe for yule-tide burn out. Save yourself by setting a limit to how many events you can accommodate AHEAD of time. The key is to fill your schedule with activities that will bring joy and satisfaction to you and your family. That’s what the holidays are all about.
Remember it’s about quality NOT quantity.
Hopefully, this short and sweet list has gotten you motivated to start planning ahead this year. I hope it will make for a less stressful season for you!