1) Planning: The holidays will be here before you know it. Take the time to plan what needs to be accomplished.
2) Calendar: Make sure all family members are on the same page-literally. Keep everyone’s events marked on the same calendar so the whole family knows what’s coming up.
3) Decorating: Avoid feeling like you have to decorate every square inch of your home. Let go of decorations you seem to avoid putting out each year. Listen to the song – “Let it Go”!
4) Saying No: The holidays can be exhausting so keep in mind that it’s okay to say “No.” You will actually appreciate more when there is less on your plate. It will help keep your stress levels down and allow you to not be so burnt out when the season ends.
5) Mailing list: When adding or editing addresses in your database-start early. Avoid waiting to order your cards and print labels a few days before Christmas when you are already stressed.
6) Holiday cards: Aim to have them ready, stamped and in a box by November 1st! On or around the first of December, send them out as you like. This process can take a lot of time, but once it’s done you can relax and enjoy the season a little more.
7) Holiday treats: If you plan to bake for the holidays, consider giving these items a week or two before Christmas. It’s a great time to connect with your friends and neighbors when they might be more grateful for a special treat.
8) Limit gift giving: Draw names for gift giving. This takes the pressure off of worrying about the amount of gifts and how much money you have to spend on each person. Purchase one thoughtful gift for the person you draw.
9) Meaningful gifts: Share an event or activity with a loved one, make a donation to a charity that is important to that person, or create something yourself that they would enjoy. Consider giving the gift of time.
10) Get into the giving spirit: Encourage your children to donate old toys, games, and stuffed animals. This will also provide a head start on your New Year’s resolution of de-cluttering and organizing your home.
11) Wrapping it up: No need to take up space in your home with lots of rolls of wrapping paper. Just purchase one roll of butcher paper from Michaels. You can have your children decorate the paper or just use decorative ribbon.
12) At the end of the holiday season: Punch a hole in the corner of each of the holiday cards you received. Place the cards on a large jump ring with a pretty bow or ribbon you have hanging around post holiday gift giving. Place the cards in the middle of your dinner table or wherever your family regularly gathers. Every day, make an effort to think about, pray for, or reach out to the family on the top card. Once you flip through all of the cards you can toss them guilt free and look forward to next year’s flipbook of new cards.