5 Tips and Hacks for an Enjoyable and Stress-Free Holiday Season
The holiday season is meant to be a joyful time shared with loved ones, full of meaningful traditions, delicious treats, thoughtful gifts, and precious memories in the making. However, it’s easy for this special time of year to also become one plagued by overwhelming stress. Between shopping, budgeting, decorating, baking, cleaning, traveling, and hosting – it’s no wonder many feel more frazzled than festive!
Luckily, with some practical tips and helpful hacks, you can set yourself up for holiday success. Follow this advice for an enjoyable, less stressful December that allows you to fully soak up all the holiday magic with your friends and family.
1. Plan Ahead and Make Lists
Trying to cram everything into the few weeks leading up to the holidays is a sure-fire path to meltdown. Get ahead by planning as early as possible. At the start of December, sketch out menus for any parties or meals you’re hosting and make your gift list so you know exactly who you need to buy for and can watch for deals.
Mapping things out early takes the pressure off and ensures you have what need when the celebrations begin. Plus, you avoid last minute scrambles when stores get picked over or you try cobbling together a gift for someone you unexpectedly realize you forgot.
2. Outsource and Delegate
You don’t have to do everything solo. Give yourself a hand by delegating tasks and outsourcing to helpers whenever possible. Have someone else address cards, assign a family member to decorate while you bake, order pre-made sides and desserts from your local deli or bakery to supplement your main dishes. Taking just a couple items off your plate lightens the load.
3. Embrace Simplicity
Aim to streamline where you can. Skip fussy décor and embrace simple adornments with classic charm and warmth. Choose easy, tasty recipes over labour-intensive ones that neighbours will polish off without noticing the extra effort. Swap gag gifts between adults for a simple gift exchange – or even forgo gifts altogether in favour of sharing experiences instead. Focus celebrations on togetherness, not over-the-top extras.
4. Plan Gifts Early
Get a jump start on gift giving by making a list and browsing options now, even for hard to buy for people. Searching early when you have more time means you can find just the right thing. Gift ideas for the golf lover in your life or awkward teenager can easily be found online. There are websites full of the latest golf cart parts and the latest video games, accessories, or cool tech gadgets. Having gifts ready to go ahead of time also helps you stay on budget without impulse purchases later. You’ll stay organized, spread out the costs, and check special names off your list at your pace.
5. Leverage Online Conveniences
Technology can simplify many holiday tasks. Shop online to dodge crowds, have items gift wrapped at checkout, and delivered directly to loved ones out of town. Download holiday light timers, recipe apps, budget trackers, and even music playlists to infuse festive spirit while you work. Click a few keys to print cards, photo calendars, and more from home. Streamline in creative ways.
6. Shift Focus to Relationships
When feeling overwhelmed, recentre yourself on what matters – time with those you love. De-emphasize perfection and materialism. So, what if your baking fails or the tree isn’t magazine worthy? The real treasure is laughter around the table or a child’s wonder at the lights. Cherish quiet moments as much as big celebrations. Appreciate loved ones supporting you however they can, even if not as you imagined. Their presence is the ultimate gift.
Focus this season on simplicity, self-care, quality time over quantity stuff, and de-stressing however works best for you and your family. Share in what makes the season magical while balancing expectations and tasks.