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We’ve all experienced it. The joy and excitement of the holiday season. But we all know that it often comes with a price. Stress! It doesn’t have to though. We can have a stress free Christmas! It just takes a couples steps, some simple adjustments, and some conscious effort.
Why Do We Stress Over the Holidays?
Expectations. A huge part of our holiday stress is expectations. We think things should be just so. We’re either trying to recreate childhood memories for our own family. Or we’re attempting to model what we see in magazines or on Pinterest as the perfect Christmas.
The decorations have to look beautiful. You try to make sure you have the perfect gift for everyone. The Christmas dinner has to be perfect. And then there’s the baking, the gift wrapping, preparing for guests, etc… It’s no wonder we’re stressed!
Tips to Deal With Holiday Stress
- Don’t try to do everything your self! I know it’s hard. But you need to delegate. Let some control go.
- It doesn’t have to be perfect to be memorable. Some of my favorite stories about the holidays are of less than perfect situations. (We once had to cook Thanksgiving dinner without power after a tree fell on our friend’s house during a storm.)
- Remember the true reason for Christmas is to celebrate the birth of our Savior, not to outdo your sister with the gift you give your parents.
- Always trade off hosting Christmas dinner each year. If it’s not possible, opt for a potluck style meal, where all the guests bring a dish.
- Focus more on family gifts like board games or movies. Make it about spending time together and less about worldly gifts.
- Find traditions that are simple and meaningful. Like going to the local holiday parade, volunteering at a local shelter as a family, or participating in church activities.
- Try to be organized, but at the same time flexible. You have to realize that even the best plans can go off track.
- Don’t spend time on things or people that drain you emotionally, physically, or financially. Give yourself permission to say no.
- Take time for yourself to take a breather. Find a quiet place to re-energize. Read the Bible, have a nice cup
ortea or coffee, and just breath.
Organization Can Be Key to a Stress-Free Christmas
I know, I know a lot of people have stress when it comes to organizing. Well, I can tell you the key is to be able to roll with the punches. Think of your organization as a frame work. You will have so much less stress when you at least have some kind of plan.
- Make a list to track gifts (and check it twice). Grab your free gift guide and tracker here.
- Try to de-clutter and deep clean one room of your house each weekend in the weeks leading up to the holiday.
- My lifesaver for Christmas food shopping is to use grocery delivery or pick up. You can use a service like instacart, order groceries online and pick up from the store, or some stores even offer their own delivery. Be sure to check a day before you need the groceries, delivery and pick up times may fill up fast.
- The best way I have found to organize Christmas decorations is using storage totes. For years we used to use cardboard boxes. Yeah, that wasn’t a very good idea. Things got broken and cardboard doesn’t exactly stand the test of time. If you don’t have any this year, don’t worry after the holidays, storage containers always go on sale.
- Using a bullet journal is a great way to keep track of all the things you need to remember for Christmas.
Making Christmas Cheery and Bright
The best way to have a stress free Christmas is to combat it with relaxation and happiness. Take a moment every day to reset with the family. Throughout the month set aside a day each week where just you and your immediate family spend time together. Take an hour and try to find a relaxing activity you can do together.
Start each day off the right way by taking a quiet moment to reflect and focus. Sit down with your favorite beverage and read your Bible, write in a journal, write notes or Christmas cards to loved ones. Do something peaceful for yourself.
A good way to bring cheer and take some of the stress out of the holidays is by not trying to do everything at once. Put up decorations a little at a time. Use a quiet evening to do some baking, not after a day of shopping!
Another way to have a stress free Christmas is to make it more about Christ. Focus on doing simple, nice things for others. Serve your community instead of going to the office party. Make small blessing bags for your local homeless shelter. Above all else extend some patience and love to your fellow man.
We tend to get too caught up in the hustle and bustle surrounding Christmas. People are in a hurry, they’re grumpy, traffic is bad. Just take a moment before getting frustrated and count to 10. Breathe. And remember you don’t know what someone else is dealing with in their life. One kind gesture can make all the difference. Be Christlike this Christmas and I’m sure you will notice a huge difference in the way others respond to you. And Christmas stress will be like the ghost of Christmas past.
From our family here at Making It Home, we hope you have a Merry Christmas!