Plenty of people get stressed around the holidays. Schedules are disrupted, more demands are presented. Parties to go to, gifts to purchase, family to get ready for or to travel to, food to prepare, the list seems to go on and on. And the time to get it all done dwindles faster than it normally seems to. But all the busyness and stress takes away from the spirit of the holidays. There are ways to reclaim that spirit and get back to living a joyous life.
Simple holiday tips
Here are some tips for going from overwhelmed to overjoyed and having a sane and joyous holiday season.
Start planning early
Leaving decisions to the last minute raises blood pressure and might mean shortcuts or compromises will have to be made. Take some time with a notebook, make a mind map, write a list, do some doodling – whatever it takes for you to create your ideal and define it. A vision clearly seen is much easier to bring to life than a foggy, blurry semi-formed idea.
Keep things simple
The spirit of the holidays is what’s important. Connect with family and friends, deepen relationships, find things to be grateful for, laugh about, and enjoy. Take time to do things together. Holidays don’t have to be about getting fancy, they can be about authenticity and being present with each other.
Ask people what they want. Maybe you think you have to be clairvoyant to be a good gift giver, but sometimes asking someone is very simple and at least you’ll get them something they want. More than half of all Americans receive at least one unwanted gift during the holidays. Don’t just get the nearest gadget just to cross someone off your gift list. Be thoughtful and consider giving an experience, consumable or give to a charity in the name of someone.
You don’t have to accept ALL the party invites. And you can say no to rich food and excessive alcohol if you know that you won’t feel well the next day. Enjoy yourself at the party, but not at the expense of ruining the next day.
Share the workload
Let all the family members (or friends) help with preparations (or cajole them into it.) Create the festivities with everyone involved. They will feel more of a part of it and it will help to build your relationships through shared effort.
In the end, holidays are to be enjoyed. If you need help getting your home ready for guests, give us a call.
Decorating for the holidays can take up a huge amount of time, money, energy, everything! Let’s get down to brass tacks so you can make it manageable, and enjoy your holiday season more.
Do what you have time for
Plan a time to put up your holiday decorations and a time to take them down. A friend of mine got out all of her Halloween decorations 3 weeks beforehand. They’ve been taking up her dining room table for more than a week now, and she’s super busy this week. Guess whether or not she’s going to get her table back this week?
If you have to decorate and you don’t have much time, be judicious about the items you put out. Choose only the ones you really love (and consider giving away the rest). Consider focusing on only a few areas of your house. For example Halloween, you might only decorate your front porch for trick-o-treater’s, no one is going to see your bathroom!
Manage the number of decorations you have
If you’re building up your decorations, it’s fun to add one or two new pieces each year. Maybe you already have plenty of decorations, but can’t resist buying just one more cute thing to put up. In that case, consider the old refrain, “Out with the old, in with the new.” That’s right, live by the following rule: let go of one thing, and bring one thing in. If you really have too many decorations, make this rule: let go of five, and bring one in!
If you have no room to store holiday decorations, the solution is easy – give them away, recycle them, donate them, or sell them. If you have room to store decorations, choose clear bins to store them. You’ll be able to see the contents and keep the dust out. Put all the decorations that go in each room together. That way it’ll be faster to put them up the next year. Clearly label the outside of the bins. If you have a separate bin (or bins) for each holiday, store them in a relatively inaccessible place. After all, each holiday only comes around once a year. If you have all your decorations in one bin, keep the bin handier because you’ll be accessing it more often.
Are you packing your ghosts and discarding your jack-o’-lantern? Then you know that Thanksgiving is right around the corner, followed by the “busy season” as people prepare for Christmas, Hanukkah, and other solstice-time celebrations. The holidays are a time of joy and celebration, but all too often, stress and sadness come with the season. Family members and friends who have passed away are remembered, and the hubbub of parties, events, and vacation days can strain anyone’s schedule. Greeting cards, family gatherings, decorating, and gift giving all take a bit of work. But a pinch of planning and a dash of restraint can lift your eyes and your heart to see the beauty of the season.