It’s the most wonderful time of the year…for stress. Surviving the holidays unscathed can be a feat for anyone, least of all those with tiny human beings to care for. However, isn’t it time that you started to actually enjoy the holidays? Take note of the following three tips and you can enjoy a little more time drinking hot cocoa and watching It’s A Wonderful Life instead of spending your time making endless to-do lists.
Don’t Go Overboard On Gifts
When it comes to buying presents for your children, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and even easier to go overboard. Thanks to improved social media marketing and constant email blasts, it’s impossible not to be bombarded with gift ideas. Many moms complain that their kids simply have too much stuff—so why buy them even more? If you really want to simplify present buying, stick with the genius 4 present rule: something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. For everyone else, one gift should be sufficient and remember, it’s the thought—not the dollar amount. A warm cup of coffee for the mailman will be just as appreciated as a cookie platter. Say no to buying gifts out of guilt and say yes to gifts that make you (and your recipient) smile.
Shopping for gifts online is so widely common that it’s hardly a tip. The trick here is to shop online for, well, everything! Paper towels, groceries, prescriptions, or even stocking stuffers. If you can prevent getting stuck in the never-ending checkout line during the holiday shopping frenzy, that is a gift in itself—to you!
No, I’m not advocating prepping seven days’ worth of made from scratch meals. That’s great—for January
. December is the month when you should be calling it in—there is way too much going on that needs your time and energy besides putting food on the table. Whether it’s easy to cook meals (hey, no one ever complained about frozen lasagna if they don’t know any better…), meal delivery services, rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, or take out, it doesn’t matter—just put it on the calendar so you don’t have to deal with that “I have no idea what to make for dinner” weeknight panic followed by everyone’s favorite mom-guilt-spiral.
Learn To Say No
Speaking of mom guilt, let’s all make a pact to ignore it this month. There’s enough to get done that you want to do—like taking the kids to see Christmas lights or watching The Grinch with some spiked eggnog. It’s time to start enjoying the holidays and not simply surviving them. Do you dread the time spent getting dolled up before each holiday activity because you KNOW photos will inevitably be taken? Simplify. Swipe of lipstick, a little blush, and some mascara is all you need. Don’t waste time with a fancy blow out—add some hair extensions for volume
Do you have people you give gifts to just because you know they will give you one? Stop it. Don’t do it. Don’t buy gifts out of obligation. Skip it this year and they’ll probably skip you next year—win, win. The same goes for volunteering—you should do it but not all of it. Whatever it is, pick the thing that serves others and you actually enjoy doing and don’t feel like you have to say yes to everything else. We all have a finite amount of time and energy so unless you choose how you want to use it, you will waste it.