It is no secret that the holidays can be one of the busiest times of the year. There can be alot of hustling and bustling between shopping, outings, parties, and normal life routines. There is also something really special about the busyness during this season. But, busyness doesn’t have to equal stressful. You can embrace and enjoy the chaos of the season without feeling overwhelmed. I invite to follow along in the series as I share my tips and tricks for how to have a stress free holiday season.
Welcome to the Scatter-Brain’s Guide to a Stress Free Holiday Season
My family tend to keep our holiday celebrations fairly low key. We don’t go to a bunch of parties and, since we don’t live near family, there is not a whole lot of visiting that needs to happen. You would think that those would add up to a relatively stress free holiday season every year, but they don’t. Every year I find myself feeling like I’m facing down important deadlines and missing them. There are always a number of things that I really want to do that somehow never make the list, and I generally have to remind myself over and over that, in the spirit of the season, I will not lose my mind over the fact that I made two batches of ginger snaps even though only two people in the house eat them, but forgot the sugar cookies. Or that it’s two days til Christmas and somehow, all I have for the stockings is a toy car and a yo-yo. It just goes to show that holiday stress can happen, even when you try to keep things simple.
My Very First Stress Free Holiday Season.
My scatter-brain tendencies get the best of me each and every year, that is, until last year. Last year was eye-opening in so many ways. We moved to our new home town at the end of October. To make a long story short, our move turned into quite the adventure. The boys and I were in a car accident very early into the trip and as I result I spent the holiday season on crutches. (If you’d like to know the whole story you can click here to read the post – Our Moving Adventure! Boy, Do I Have a Story to Share!). You would think being on crutches and dealing with physical limitations would have added to the holiday stress. Strangely, they had the opposite effect.
Because I was on crutches, everything took me four times longer to do. With the holidays looming I was forced to admit that if I wanted to do all the usual holiday things I was going to have to plan things carefully. The result was a rather relaxing Christmas for our family. Right after Christmas I decided that I wanted to tackle the holiday season the same way this year and I thought it would be kind of fun to share my process with you, so that you can create your own scatter-brain approach to the holiday season.
Day 1 – Dreaming of a White Christmas
Before we can start planning our holiday season, we need to know what we want from it. I’m not talking about things we want to do, we’ll get to those soon enough. I want you think about what how you want to feel this holiday? How do you want your family to feel?
It’s really easy to sit down and make a list of all the things we want to do, need to do, and feel we should do. This is true no matter the season, but it can be especially true during the holidays. There are cookies to bake, crafts to make, gifts to buy and wrap. If we’re not careful we can get so caught up in the doing, that we’re not enjoying the moments. When we’re scattered on good days, the holidays can add a whole new layer to that scatteredness that, if left unchecked, can leave us feeling stressed when we don’t need to be.
Knowing how we want to feel helps us set boundaries and guidelines for all the rest of our plans. They become the barometer we measuring our tasks and wishlists by. For example – if you want to feel festive and joyful, maybe you accept a few more party invitations, or maybe you choose to throw a holiday party of your own. On the other hand, if you’re craving a quiet and peaceful holiday season, maybe you decline all but the most important invitations. Maybe you decline them all! If you’re not feeling crafty, maybe you skip making all your decorations and use what you already have. Or vice versa.
Today we’re going to keep it really simple. Take some time to think about the upcoming holiday season and what emotional boundaries you want to set. Just mull it over. Let the idea percolate in the back of your mind. We’ll delve a little deeper tomorrow.
While you’re mulling it over, click here and come join the Facebook group and introduce yourself. You can add a comment to the welcome post or just make a whole new post.
That’s it for today! I hope you’ll stop by again tomorrow for the next step in the series and to check out the first of the new holiday planner printables.
Until then, I’ll be over in the Facebook group on and off all day. I hope to see you there.