Well, Christmas is less than one month away, which for most us means we will start preparing for a busy week.
The holidays are wonderful, but sometimes stress likes to creep in. It’s a time with a lot of expectation and memory-making, which can be great, but also a bit draining. For me, planning ahead really helps keep things fun and in perspective.
Here are some things that help me stay level-headed around the holidays:
ONE: Be realistic. I tend to think of large, perfect tablescapes and beautifully decorated living rooms, all smelling of oranges and cinnamon. While this is lovely it tends to be stressful too. So, I pick and choose. Do I want to go all out on the food or the decor? What time do I want/need to spend with my kids? How can they help me, and what will they find enjoyable. I guarantee that if you skip the tinsel laden tablescape awash with greenery and gorgeousness, no one will notice. All most people want is a warm, delicious meal with laughter involved.
TWO: Do some things ahead of time. Make a list. Can you makes pies and breads ahead of time? Yes, you can! Breads can even be frozen, so make them weeks ahead of schedule. It’s surprising how freeing accomplishing things ahead of time is. That way on Christmas Day when the family is playing a game, you will have time to join in AND get things done.
THREE: Ask for help. No, INSIST on help. My thinking is that if you are going to eat in my house, you are going to help. Asking kids and guests to join in the preparations can be fun and a time for togetherness. Be sure to give out jobs based on everyone’s ages. You may have to set your sights of perfection a bit lower, but no one will notice.
FOUR: Let some things go. You can’t meet the expectations of all of your guests. If people have eating restrictions or special traditions, let them take care of those things. Yes, I am giving you permission to say “no” during the holidays. I find that my biggest frustrations in the past have come from trying to make everyone happy…which generally left me stressed out. Releasing that mindset and settling for a comfortable holiday with good family and friends has been life-changing for me!
What about you? How do you keep your holidays from getting out of control and becoming stressful? What are your methods of preparing for a busy week?
Have a lovely day, friends!