If I asked you to name 3 things you ultimately celebrate this holiday season, what would they be?
Now think about the ways you have carried out the way you’ve celebrated in the past, up until now.
Has it provided you with a genuine feeling and happy sense of those 3 things?
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If you can’t confidently answer yes to that, then this post’s 16 Tips on How to Have a Stress-Free Christmas, will help you determine what areas need to be addressed differently in order to save your sanity this season.
Avoid the store as much as possible and purchase online what you can get online
You know how hectic it gets and you don’t people pissing you off in a time you’re supposed to enjoy thinking about the ones you love while getting them special things
Take advantage of sunny days and get out of the house
Get of yourself out of the house. Get your kids out of the house. Enjoy the sun and preserve your sanity with it as much as you can.
Enjoy free holiday events near you
I don’t know about you, but Christmas is my ultimate favorite time of the year. I am never as happy as I am when it comes around and especially when my family and I get to enjoy family Christmas events, for FREE! If this is something that makes you happy and in fact relieves some stress for you (as you don’t have to plan much for your kiddos to have fun), then look around at your town’s calendar of events and enjoy!
Diffuse some seasonal essential oils in your home
There is nothing like setting the tone in your home with a fresh fragrance that triggers senses of pleasure and joy!
Worry about your immediate family’s happiness and don’t stress about pleasing everyone else!
Accept that all of your energy doesn’t need to go both ways. Don’t worry about a spic and span ‘Christmassy’ home that your toddlers and guests will ruin anyway and certainly don’t feel obligated to buy gifts for EVERYBODY!
You do not have to buy stuff for everyone other than your hubby and kiddos!
It’s all about being realistic and doing things within your means, no more than that. I love my siblings, for example, and have given them gifts every year after I married, but upon having multiple kids of my own now and my siblings reaching their teen years, I found it ok for me to tone down on them and just do, like birthdays. Another example is my husband wanting to get a gift for our god daughter’s sister just because we were getting her one. And I’m like “Nay, she will expect a gift every year and that is just not something we can do”. And I don’t feel guilty. You shouldn’t feel guilty, you can always do other nice things for your loved ones. Something homemade, for example.
There is no need to feel obligated to ‘do it all’ by yourself
Whether your family is coming over, have them all bring a dish, or whether your gift shopping, your husband should be involved. Determine where help can be used and ask for it. Shame-free!
Go. Tech. Free.
Either that, or unfollow people that just do the opposite of uplifting you. There is a lot if posts going on about who’s buying what for whom and how their holiday décor looks or those perfect, Norman Rockwell worthy dinners. You don’t need to be seeing that if you’re comparing yourself or feeling less than.
Do not create a fantasy of unrealistic expectations
As much as I wish I can make my home look Instagram worthy for Christmas, I might just have to wait ‘till my babies aren’t toddlers anymore. As much as I wish certain family members had filters this holiday get-together, some don’t. Just do you and forget about being perfect. Not even insta-perfect mamas have perfect real lives!
You don’t always have to stick to traditions
Omg this is a big one because, believe me, these change! I remember when I first got married, I was wishing I can carryout the traditions I knew, but it was just hubby and me, and then just my baby, and now just our toddlers and us. I was sad now that I didn’t know how to celebrate the holidays with my new little family. So you adapt by age and family circumstances. I had come from a big family and what I wanted to do was pretty unrealistic at the time. Still is, for now. So I must get creative!
Don’t over schedule
I personally like anything I can get free that gets me in the Christmas spirit, but if saying yes to everything out there does not bring out the best in you, then say no and just stay home with your family.
Start your day with more nutritious breakfasts and less coffee
Easier said than done, I know it. But give a try for a few days and see how you start to feel.
Don’t abandon healthy habits
If you have a stable diet, or you exercise, or maybe you’re self care, journaling, etc. Whatever it is that fulfills you, do not let go of it in the midst of all the holiday planning.
Don’t engage in family drama
If you must have a visit that involves difficult family this season, this post will be a good read for you to determine how to deal with it, whether to deal with it at all, and to what extent.
Set aside differences
It’s up to you what this means to you and how you take it. Whether you just can’t, with so and so’s personality or that person has offended you in some way, only you know if it is something you can set aside for one day or two for the sake of the family’s peace, OR if in fact y’all can make the peace between you for good, like I did after 4 years, (which to be honest I am still digesting whether it was worth it). So far I think it has, for the most part.
Set (and stick to) your spending budget
And depending on what you’re investing for, you can plan your purchases by the year. For example you want outdoor décor as well as indoor holiday goods. Invest one year buying the home décor you want, and wait the following year to invest in all the outdoor lights you like. For example, I have only dollar tree décor in my home so far. But outside I have pretty lights, and we get to buy more this year if we want. Another tip I have on Christmas gift shopping is starting as early as spring and collect little by little like per month, for example, up ‘till Christmas. Feels weird but it so works on avoiding that unwanted stress!
In case you have not heard this 20 million times already, this season is all about celebrating hope, love, peace, joy and above all, family.
So ask yourself during every task you carry out:
“Do I feel peace and joy doing this”?
“Does this genuinely make myself, my husband/child feel loved”?
“Is there that sense of family and hope when I surround myself with our extended family”?
Ultimately, your answer to these questions is your answer to your stress-free holiday.
I whole heartedly wish you a very joyous, memory-making season!