Holidays should’t be stressful.
It should be a time of joy and celebration. A time with family and friends.
But, if we are being honest with each other sometimes they just are. So much to do and get done. Places to go, people to see…right? Well, today I wanted to share just a few ideas and tips with you on how I slow down and try to just enjoy the season. And, also how I keep up and try to avoid getting overwhelmed.
One. Have a plan. I love writing notes and making lists…There’s something fun about checking things off a list, weird maybe but thats just my personality, I guess. For me being organized is essential. If things aren’t organized I may start loosing some marbles. So keep a running list of things you’d like to do/need to do. Things you need to buy ect. I normally host a meal for Christmas. So I do my Pinterest browsing. Create a special board just for my recipes. I make sure I have a list of all the ingredients I’ll need and get all my shopping done days in advance.That way when the day comes I am totally prepared. There’s nothing like getting ready to cook Christmas brunch and realizing you forgot to buy the bacon. 😉
Two. Declutter. I’m not suggesting going full Marie Kondo the week before Christmas. But, if your home is cluttered its just going to stress you out. So go through each room and have a box for trash, donate, and sell. Oh and don’t plan a yard sale the week before Christmas. I mean you could…but that may stress you out. Trash what you don’t need or as Marie puts it, get rid of what doesn’t bring you joy. Store the sell box somewhere until you have the time to dedicate to a yard sale. Trash and donate your other boxes right away.
Three. While you’re decluttering do a little deep cleaning. I don’t know about you, but I do tend to do my best cleaning when I know my mother in law is coming to visit, lol. You don’t have to do it all in one day. Take your time. Go room by room, throw some Christmas music on while you’re at it. If you clean in the weeks leading up to your holiday get togethers when it’s time to host it’s so much easier to quick tidy up because your home is already mostly clean. Don’t stress yourself out by trying to deep clean your whole house the day before company comes. Thats just not fun.
Ps. I love my Norwex cleaning products. They are chemical free and they make cleaning quick and easy. If you don’t know what Norwex is you can read this post here. And if you want to learn more about it I suggest finding a friend or someone local who sells it. It’s life changing people.
I also really enjoy Mrs. Meyers cleaning products. Plus the seasonal scents make cleaning a little more enjoyable!
Four. If you exchange gifts/buy gifts… Get your wrapping done ahead of time. I know some people love wrapping last minute…maybe even shopping last minute. And that’s fine as long as you’re enjoying it. But if it stresses you out then try to get it done before hand. I love wrapping as I buy. So as soon as I can, after purchasing a gift I wrap it and tuck it away. That way it’s done and I don’t have to worry about it. I also keep a list (here I am again with lists) of what I’ve purchased and wrapped. Because I purchase and wrap so far in advance sometimes I completely forget what I bought, haha.
Five. I know I’ve felt this way before, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. So I’m going to encourage you, Do Not worry about little things. If you don’t get to dust everything, then you don’t. If you forgot to wipe all the kiddie fingerprints off…well everything. then you did. I can almost guarantee no one will notice. Its kind of like your wedding day. Enjoy the moments, it’s going to fly by. And people probably won’t notice what didn’t go according to plan. To be a good hostess is to genuinely be happy to host people and love on them. People will appreciate you simply opening your home to them. Everything else is just an added bonus and blessing. So you forgot the bacon…no big deal.
Six. Slow down. I know it seems counter productive to slow down at such a busy time of year. But I promise you, you can make time to take it easy and go slow. Do a fun craft project with the kids. Meet up with a friend for coffee…or maybe just grab some by yourself and stroll through Target, bake some cookies. Do things you enjoy and things that relax you. Of all the things going on during the Holiday season the most important part are the memories. So make some with your family. Enjoy the little moments and just relax in the magic of the season.
Seven. Take time for reflection. This is a must for me every day of the year but most importantly at Christmas time. Our family makes time every night before bed to read a scripture verse for Advent. Our kids are only 5 and 2 so they still don’t understand a lot of what the scripture is actually saying. But it’s a great opportunity for them to be still, listen and for you to explain it and talk about it with them. My boys love chocolate so we also have a little evening Advent treat. You can see our Advent calendar here. I also personally, take time to do my own Advent reading. I love this book from Ann Voskamp The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas as well as this one from Liz Curtis Higgs The Women of Christmas: Experience the Season Afresh with Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna . I also really love watching the Nativity story, movie.
Eight. Enjoy traditions. I mentioned baking cookies. Thats one of my favorite traditions to do every year. We also love watching Christmas movies, driving around town looking at all the lights. Going locally to different events and displays. Just enjoy your time with the people you love. Your memories and traditions are what will last through the years. They are the things we hold most dear.
our non Pinterest worthy Gingerbread House, but the kids had a lot of fun decorating it 😉
I really hope today’s post encourages you to slow down and enjoy the moment. Prepare yourself, but most importantly prepare your heart for Jesus. Because Christmas is meant to celebrate Him. His coming, His life, His majesty, grace, power, awesomeness, mercy, love, sacrifice, righteousness, holiness, compassion, glory.
God in human flesh fully God and fully man born of a virgin and placed in a manger. Wow, its amazing and awesome, and mind blowing! To be so loved by God that he would be born, live, and die for His children.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
Blessings Friends and Merry Christmas! And if you don’t celebrate Christmas I wish you the warmest and happiest of holidays!