Sometimes we just make things more complicated than they have to be, especially during the holidays. We put so much time and effort into everything: cooking, cleaning, decorating, baking, photographing, wrapping, and worrying about every last detail. While there is nothing wrong with putting our all into making sure the holiday is special, if you are burned out you will have nothing left of yourself to give nor will you be able to enjoy the holidays. Keep it simple and organized this holiday season.
7 Ways to Simplify the Holidays
1. Get a head start
Don’t wait until the last minute to do your cleaning, shopping, and cooking. While finding Santa and all that he brings in the stores in September makes me cringe I see the value in getting a jump on things. I do start my shopping early, picking up random clearance or sale items here and there that I know will still be relevant come in. Finishing up all but a few last minute things will help you avoid the holiday rush. Cookie dough can be made months in advance, wrapped well in plastic wrap and placed in the freezer, leaving one less thing to worry about during the holiday rush. Kids need cookies for a class party? Just thaw a batch out in the fridge and bake.
2. Be organized
Keep everything from decorations to holiday dishes in the same, convenient area. When it is time to pull them out or put them away, it will be much easier and therefor less stressful. Spend a few dollars to buy containers that close well and hold items better. For instance, you can buy containers with individual compartments for ornaments, and plastic pieces to wrap up lights neatly.
3. Make Lists
This goes back to organization. Make gift lists for family and friends, house cleaning checklists, grocery lists, whatever you need to accomplish- write it down. It will keep you organized and on track as well as giving you a boost when you can cross something off.
4, Ask for help
Enlist the help of family and friends as sitters, assign them sides or desserts to bring to family functions, or put them to work washing dishes. Normally people offer to help and we brush them off assuring them “I’ve got it.”. This time take their help and benefit the both of you.
5. Set a budget
One of the most stressful parts of the holidays is the expense. Set a budget for yourself to not only include gifts but also food for parties and baking supplies, and stick to it so that as the holidays come closer
6. Learn to say no
You will not benefit anyone if you are burned out. You can’t say yes to every bake sale, Christmas play, sewing project for the children’s choir, or holiday party that comes along. Prioritize so that there is enough of you to go around, but not so much you get lost in it all.
7. Put your feet up
Relax, the holidays are about family, and that means you too. If you have to skip dusting the last shelf up high, or adding one more bow to the front porch swag, no one is going to notice. What they will notice is your relaxed smile and the love you lavish on your family and friends around the holidays.