9 Easy Ways for Having a Stress-Free Holiday!

This is the time of year that everyone should be enjoying time with family and loved ones and that includes YOU!

Yes! You can have dinner parties and enjoy your guests!  You can make time to go to the mall and enjoy your shopping without rushing!  You can enjoy decorating your home without the stress or spending alot of money! How? Follow these tips and enjoy the holidays!!

1) Say "NO". Be realistic about what you can and cannot do. Each day has 24 hours.  Enjoy the Christmas season with time for yourself

2) Create a game plan.   If you are hosting a Christmas party or you’re the one fixing the main Christmas Day feast, PLAN!! 

Write down a master plan.

  • Create a menu.
  • Set a date and time.
  • Let your guests know the time line for acceptances, regrets, or special requests.

You are less likely to keep making changes if you have to keep re-writing each new change.  Being flexible about times, food choices, and special requests is wonderful.  Letting your guests and family know the date you will be completing your menu lets everyone enjoy the holiday festivities.  Once your menu is done…stay the course.  Cooks have driven themselves crazy trying to make last minute changes.

3) Make a list.  Make a list of who you are buying presents for and what you want to get them.  Stick to that list when you go shopping, it will save you time and money.  Look at your menu for your party/dinner, then make a list of the items you will need to buy at the grocery store.  Compare that list to the items in your cabinets before you go shopping.  It will save you time, money and space.

4) Prepare ahead of time. Take a look at the area you will be holding your party/dinner and ask yourself two simple questions.

  1. Is there any decorating I can do the day before? 
  2. Is there anything I can cook or prepare the day/night before? 

For example: If you are cooking Christmas Dinner and everyone will be at your house at 1 p.m. Here are possible advance preparations you can make:

  • Cook your ham 24 hours early.
  • Roll dressing balls which can be refrigerated prior to cooking.
  • Prep potatoes and refrigerate them in a pan of salt water
  • Make desserts in advance.  Many can be frozen up to a week. 
  • Check for items you can cook the evening before, refrigerate, and then warm up in the oven about an hour before you are ready to serve.
  • You may be able to set the table the night before or early in the morning.

5) Everything in Moderation:  Gifts, food, time and money.  Too often I hear people complain about spending too much money during the holidays or eating too much. Please remember that whatever you put on the credit card you will have to pay back, most likely with interest.  When buying a gift for someone, ask yourself, does the person really need this, is it something they will really use and can "I" afford it?  When buying gifts for your children, ask yourself, "Is there room in their space for that item?"  If the answer is no, are they going to be willing to give up something to make room?  "Does my child need another set of skates or another C.D. or another 5 shirts and 4 pairs of jeans?"  Only you can answer these questions but be prepared to make storage room for everything you are buying them.

6) Wrap up your presents wisely.  Do not buy too much – only buy 2 kinds of wrapping paper so that you can mix and match ribbon and bows with them. As much as some of us do not like to admit it, it is only paper and is going to be torn into shreds and thrown away anyway.  There will be less to have to store away for next year and you will not spend as much money buying different color ribbons and bows to match.

7) Keep things in order. At this time of the year it is easy to let things slide.  You can still be de-cluttering about 15 minutes every evening.  The children can continue putting their things where they belong.  Everyone can continue keeping their schedules.

8) Ask for help.  This is the Season of Giving…let others give to you as well.  Are you baking?  Ask for a helping hand rather than struggling to multi-task drying clothes, cooking, cleaning, and a thousand other chores.

9) Remember kindness starts with YOU! Be kind to yourself.  Schedule time during the Holiday Season for you! Write it down on the calendar then you will most likely make it happen.  Make the time to do whatever it is that you enjoy.  Go shopping for yourself.  Have coffee with a friend.  Enjoy a bubble bath.  Read a good book.  Treat yourself to a pedicure.


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