Tis the season to be jolly! But let’s be honest - it’s hard to be jolly 100% of the time, right? Especially when you’re dealing with the stress of the holiday season.
However, I have a few quick tips to help get you through the most wonderful time of the year, and no they don’t involve copious amounts of eggnog!
1. Divide & Conquer.
YOU DON’T NEED TO DO EVERYTHING. Keep saying that over and over again. It is ok to ask for help and you know what, people WANT to be helpful! So let them! Having a party? Don’t be afraid to ask people to bring a dish, help decorate or set up, and help clean up or wash dishes. Need to get gifts for the kids? Ask your partner to handle the stocking stuffers, or you do the buying and they do the wrapping. Delegate tasks when you can and especially when people ask, because delegating even the smallest ones can help lower your stress!
2. Less is More.
Be thoughtful about what you commit to and what you put on your calendar. Yes it might be cute that your neighbors-cousins-child is in the schools winter chorus assembly but when they you to go, you don’t always need to say yes. The holidays are about spending time with family and it’s hard to do that when you’re running from thing to thing every moment of every day. Don’t forget the holiday season is a short one so you while you need to make the most of it, you need to be mindful of how you fill it.
3. Memories over Material Things.
Giving gifts any time of the year can be stressful but during the holiday people tend to go overboard and try to out-gift each other or even do into debt trying to afford nice gifts. But in all honesty, most people don’t care all that much about gifts. Do you remember what you got for Christmas when you were 8? I don’t. Even the big gifts that I “had to have” I hardly remember. But you know what I do remember? Making cookies with my mom and watching Christmas movies with my sisters. I cherish those memories way more than I ever knew I would. We don’t tend to remember gifts, but we remember experiences and traditions. And the best part about giving the gift of making memories? They don’t need to cost a thing.
4. Schedule Social Media Time.
This might seem like a weird one, but hear me out. By constantly scrolling and surfing the internet and social media sites you can start to lose sight about the season that is supposed to be about gratitude. People always tend to put their best foot forward on social media so yes, the might seem like they made the most perfect batch of 12 dozen Christmas cookies, but what you don’t see is the kitchen that is disaster, the dishes in the sink, the dog covered in flour, and one grumpy husband whose arm hurts from all that mixing. What I am trying to say is stop comparing yourself to others on social media, they probably don’t have it as put together as it might seem and neither do you! So schedule out time to take a look at your social media pages and stick to that time. By spending less time on line you can spend more time where it really matters, with family.
5. Perfectly Imperfect.
I used to be the person that would coordinate wrapping paper with bows and tailor it to the personality of the person who was getting the gift. It can be easy to fall into the trap of wanting the perfect tree, perfect decorations, and perfect gift giving (see above), but by trying to achieve a “perfect holiday” (side note: you won’t be able to ever be 100% perfect) you can miss out on a lot of great memories and experiences. So what if your child wants to help make and decorate the cookies? You’re spending time with them and teaching them about baking and creating memories. So what if your partner is terrible at wrapping gifts? They still volunteered to help and take one thing off your plate so you can be present at other things. Just learn to go with the flow more this holiday season and know that the best gift of all is to be present with your loved ones and making memories with them.
If you try all of these tips and none of them work, then then I have one last tip for you: