‘Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la la!
But not so fast. If you do not prepare well, the Christmas and New Years holiday season can end up being a stressful time of year.
Whether you are planning a big holiday celebration or are taking time off to travel, you most likely have a ton on your to-do list but not much time to get things done. Even if you are not overwhelmed with task lists, the Christmas holidays can be very emotional.
If you want to have a stress-free holiday season, we’ve got your back. Here are five quick tips that will help you cope with the inevitable stresses we often encounter during this time of year.
Start a Holiday Fund
If the spending bug usually bites you during the holidays, be wiser this year. We highly recommend starting a holiday fund for your holiday vanity spending.
Setting aside some extra money for Christmas will prevent you from severely denting your budget. Moreover, you can save for gifts that you’d like to buy or events you want to attend. There’s no reason why a secret Santa gift exchange should break the bank!
Start saving for the holidays as soon as possible. Form a habit of putting away a few dollars in a savings jar for the holiday fund. If you are ambitious, consider increasing your income by doing some extra work. For example, you can get some online freelance gigs, hold a garage sale or take a part-time job for some extra cash.
There are tons of ways of making money. You just need to figure out what you want to earn, and then put in some hours to get the cash.
Create a Sanctuary at Home
The holidays are a time to relax, have fun, and be thankful for family and friends. You are blessed too much to be stressed. And most of us are working hard all through the year, so why not take a well-deserved break. Therefore, during this time of year, make your home the ultimate sanctuary.
De-clutter your house, and then decorate it to be inviting and ambient. Add a few throw blankets and pull out your coziest winter clothes. Get busy with some DIY crafts or buy Christmas decors from Etsy to spruce up the living room. Twinkle lights also add a nice touch.
Simple decors that bring in the warmth of the holiday spirit will instantly transform your home into a sanctuary that the all your family and friends will love.
Plan Your Holiday Meals
Meals take a huge chunk of any family’s holiday budget. Christmas is the time when everyone will want to eat those delicious cakes and pastries they have been craving all year round. Moreover, with guests coming over, your food expenditure will definitely go north.
Creating a menu for the holidays will help you save some cash and free your time for other tasks. When planning holiday meals, there are a number of things to consider:
- Do you have the time to make everything from scratch, or will buying some ready-made foods make your life easier?
- Buying in bulk at stores such as Sam’s will help you save some cash, especially if you’re feeding lots of people.
- For your holiday parties, can you ask your guests to each bring a dish to share?
- If you’re going to several pot-luck parties, make one dish your signature contribution so you can buy supplies in bulk.
When you address these points, and plan ahead of time, feeding your family and friends can be a little easier.
If guests are bringing something to your home, make a list of types of dishes that you would each person to bring. This way, rather than guests bringing random items, they would contribute items that together make a fantastic holiday feast.
Finalize Your Guest Lists
Are you entertaining guests this holiday season? If so, you need to know exactly how many guests you are expecting, so you can plan accordingly. Make sure to get your guests to RSVP and give you any dietary restrictions early on. This way you can make an organized list of foods and gifts to buy, which helps you keep your mind a little emptier. Then, it’s easier to enjoy quiet evenings in you cozy sanctuary.
Lists are important. It’s essential to also distinguish how many adults versus children you will be hosting during your stress free holiday celebration. Make this list early on and start marking tasks off as soon as possible! This will help you avoid last minute rushing around when the stores get a lot more crowded.
Do Intermittent Speed Cleaning
So, you’ve finalized the guest list and know when to expect your visitors. But is the house de-cluttered and clean?
The last thing you may want to think about during the holidays is cleaning the house. However, this is necessary and can be started a few weeks before the actual holiday or party. Putting off cleaning until the last minute will only stress you out more.
Don’t wait until the day before your guests’ arrival date to start cleaning. Instead, begin by clearing out cutter and decorating, which will give the house a new look. Then, allocate a little time every other day for some intermittent speed cleaning. You can easily clean your whole house and make it more presentable by cleaning different area on different days. For example, before taking a bath, you can clean the bathroom, replace the towels, and set out some holiday-inspired candles.
As well, the holidays are not a time for deep cleaning, and you certainly don’t need to call a cleaning service. With people coming and going, they are likely to track in dirt, leaves and snow.
The five strategies above are just a few ideas that will help you avoid holiday stress. Which ones are you implementing this season? Are there any others that help you truly take in the spirit of this time, versus running around feeling stressed?
This article (How to Prepare for a Stress Free Holiday Season) is copyrighted by Awareness Junkie, 2018. You may not copy, reproduce or publish any content therein without written permission. Feel free to share this article on social networks and via email. If you have questions, please contact us here.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Moreover, views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Awareness Junkie or its staff.