If you are already sensing the holiday rush coming up, this post will help you to get ready, get set, and calmly enjoy your holiday season.
I’ve been reflecting on the past few Christmases with a bit of frustration🎄🎄🎄.
In my mind, I want everyone to be jolly, skipping in elf costumes, and singing songs about Jesus’ birth every night.
I was stressed, the kids were strung out, and I barely get decorated before CHRISTMAS WAS OVER.
I don’t know about you, but this is not how I want to spend one of the precious 18 holiday seasons I have with my children before they leave home.
What I Want (And Don’t Want)
As I sat down and thought about what I wanted to accomplish this Christmas (including rest and a lot of Hallmark movies!), the following things came to mind:
- I don’t want to be too busy to actually teach my children the valuable and important lessons of this season.
- I want our home to feel super cozy and festive and hygge because I think this ups the sentimentality and nostalgia of the season.
- I don’t want to feel like the weeks are FLYING BY in a blur of stress, instead I want to make some lifelong memories and traditions.
- I have zero interest in feeling overwhelmed at all I have to “do.” I want to actually enjoy the next two months.
How To Speed Up To Slow Down
So, in order to be able to achieve the things I’ve mentioned above, I’ve come up with a list of things I can do right now to help me have a peaceful, restful, meaningful holiday season.
If you are like me and want similar things – I hope these tips help!
Focus On The Reason FIRST
So I realized quickly on that the things that were most meaningful about Christmas weren’t going to just naturally happen. You don’t just look at the clock at 6:45 p.m. on a Thursday night and say, “Hey, let’s think about Christmas from the shepherd’s perspective!”
If we don’t think about the ways to bring the meaning of the holidays into our homes in advance, they’ll be the first things squeezed out.
How To Plan In Meaning
- Gather Resources | Buy books or gather resources you want to read/use during this season. I’ve created Advent Devotionals to be read each day and have a few Christmas books we love. Ones about the origin of Santa and the tale of Jesus’ Birth. Having these on hand – in a pile – near a much used seating area will go a long way in helping you chew on the reason for the season.
- Make Meaningful Traditions | This may be an Advent tradition, reading certain books, or even having a certain meal each year. This year I’m doing our first annual Shepherd’s Dinner that I hope will become a tradition. This may be caroling, reading the birth of Jesus on Christmas Eve, or anything else, but think about something simple, easy, and enjoyable you can do year after year.
- Block Out Services & Events | What can often happen is that Christmas is so packed with events we don’t have time for “extras.” The goal here is to pencil these things in FIRST and then fill with extras. Christmas Eve services, volunteering at shelters, food dispensaries, or child advocacy centers. The sky’s the limit, but block them out.
Sit Down With Calendar TODAY
I encourage you to get out your planner sometime in the next few days and plan out your November and December.
I’ve used Christmas planning printables as well as my handy dandy paper planner. I sit down and pencil in all the things that I want to make sure happen. Even things that don’t need a firm date, just give them a firm date. That way you know when it’ll happen and it’s off your mind.
Pencil In Things Like The Following:
- Parties, events, and get-togethers you already know about.
- Shopping trips (if you plan on doing big trips to get lots of presents at once).
- Online shopping appointments (a.k.a. when you are going to sit down and go to Amazon and shop).
- When you plan to go look at Christmas lights, tree lightings, or community holiday events.
- Dates you plan on getting your Christmas tree or decorating your home for the holidays.
- Present wrapping times. This way you’re not up until midnight Christmas Eve unless that’s a tradition you love.
- The date you prefer to stock up on yummy goodies like holiday candles, hot chocolate, candy corn, etc.
- Blocked off dates for work or time off work.
- Guest itineraries. When people are coming in or going out, or when you are coming in or going out.
One last thing… if budget allows… buy whatever you can buy NOW and have it at home. Whether it’s presents, food, or Christmas cookie decorating, having something on hand greatly reduces the chance of skipping it.
Make A Gift Buying Strategy STAT
If gift giving is your love language… you might hate this idea.
You are probably great at picking personal gifts for each person and don’t mind going all around town to find the perfect thing. That is likely something you need to give time to and lock in the date, so you’re able to do that stress free.
But for the rest of us…
We need a simple plan.
- Make a list | Use this Christmas gift planner to figure out exactly what you need to by, for whom, and by what date.
- Consolidate shopping where possible | Unless it’s specialized, try to buy as much as you can from one retailer. This saves in shipping and – if you shop major retailers like Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Target – you’ll often get free 2 day shipping.
- Consider rules | If you are stressed at the thought of buying $50 gifts for 25 people, then get with immediate family members and get a feel. Perhaps they also want to draw names out of a hat. Think out of the box.
- Be honest and genuine | If you’re in a place where you simply can’t buy lots of gifts for tons of people (we’ve mostly all been there at some point, right?) then don’t hesitate to set that expectation. You are not obligated by anyone to gift anything. Don’t let guilt cause you to spend money you don’t have. Free yourself from that.
Make Your Home Hygge-fied
There is no better way to feel more in the holiday mood and more ready to relax and calm down… than having a home environment that’s welcoming and soothing.
Whatever your budget is, you can find ways to bring in the holiday cheer to your home.
- Comfy blankets in a big basket near the couch for snuggling.
- A carefully placed pumpkin or two in each room reminds you of the season.
- Candles or essential oils that give off seasonal scents. Pumpkin pie, cloves, oranges, etc. You can even simmer scents on the stove as well (this is great for parties!)
- Tea towels or napkins go a long way in being festive if you aren’t into buying and storing entire Christmas themed dinnerware sets.
- Wreaths can be made from pine cones (we’re planning on doing these!) or bought inexpensively at places like Hobby Lobby and they make a big impact in any room.
So… Are You Motivated To Get Started Right Away?
I knew I wouldn’t be the only mom with the desire to have an orderly, full, and memorable holiday season without the stress.
I’ve created a holiday pack I’ve affectionately dubbed ‘Tis The Season: The Ultimate Holiday Planner. In this printable pack you’ll get the following:
- Thanksgiving Printable Planner ($9 value)
- Christmas Printable Planner ($12 value)
- Advent Devotionals (2 Versions for Kids and a Mom version)
- Family Culture Printable Pack ($12.99 value)
- Slow Your Scroll ($12.00 value) which is a note-booking journal to help you disconnect from tech and focus on your family!
Get your ‘Tis The Season planning pack at 70% off what all the products cost individually in the shop!
New to this community? Start here, friend.