It’s the most wonderful time of the year…or is it? Just this last weekend, Halloween ushered in the official beginning of the holiday season. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, and the New Year are all holidays that are just right around the corner.
Yikes! Where did the time go?
I always view this time of year with mixed feelings. On one hand I love all the celebrations, decorations, and food. However, I also dread all that comes along with it–deep cleaning my home, buying suitable presents, coming up with holiday meal plans, and putting extra commitments on my calendar.
Celebrating the holidays can be a lot of work!
So how do we get through the holidays with our sanity intact?
Here are some tips I’ve come up with to help us have a stress-free holiday season:
Create a realistic plan. Let’s face it. There are more cute ideas and recipes to try on Pinterest than we possibly have time for. Plus, it’s just not realistic to think that we will be able to pull things off perfectly.
So, I challenge you to write down your goals for this season. You may want to focus more on family time instead of going to every party or event to which you are invited. Maybe this year you have decided that family photo Christmas cards are not doable based on your available time and budget.
Remember to keep it simple and focus only on those activities or tasks that will make the holiday season more meaningful for you and your family.
Decide ahead of time to remain positive during the holidays. When you write down your goals for this season, take the time and ask yourself if what you plan to do is being done out of obligation or if it will truly bring you and your family joy. Nothing is worse than committing to something because you feel like you have to do it.
When we commit to things out of obligation it sometimes puts a damper on our attitudes. This year choose joy and peace and feel good about those things to which you commit.
Yes, there will be some tasks or events that will have to be done because of certain obligations. However, we can choose joy and have the best attitude possible when facing those situations.
Give yourself a break. As I mentioned above, we will not be able to do everything perfectly during this holiday season. As much as we’d love to have the picture perfect holiday table laden with scrumptious food, most likely our families will be happy with simple foods made (or bought) with love.
Don’t beat yourself up if you’re not a great cook. Do what you do best and leave the rest up to others. Delegate big meals to other family members or guests. Potlucks are always a good idea so one person is not stuck doing all of the cooking.
Make sure you set aside time for yourself to be able to relax and enjoy the holiday season. Treat yourself to your favorite holiday snack, read a book, or enjoy special holiday movies on tv with your family.
The holiday season is a wonderful time to connect with friends and family near and far. Give some of these ideas a try to help you make this the best (and least stressful) holiday season of all!