As magical as December and all the festivities are, I’m always on the search for something that will help me beat holiday stress and let me enjoy the season.
It can be hard to get into the Holiday spirit while searching for that elusive perfect gift, planning spectacular holiday meals, entertaining out of town guests and baking 13 dozen cookies for the neighborhood cookie exchange.
Don’t forget about getting Christmas cards ordered, addressed and actually making it to the post office to mail them.
And this is all before you make the Pinterest-worthy trip to the Christmas tree farm to pick out the perfect spruce to decorate with beautiful coordinating baubles.
It’s no wonder that many of us are searching Google for ways to make the holidays less stressful and more festive!
Read on for over 50 tips for making this Christmas the most joyous ever including a free printable checklist to keep you on track.
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If all the things on your to-do list are making you feel more Grinchy than festive, it’s time to start planning your holiday season now.
10 ways to control your holiday spending
20 Holiday traditions to start with your kids this year
Why are the holidays stressful?
A week with relatives you would rather avoid, an endless to-do list and the overwhelming feeling that you are not making Christmas “magical” enough can get to anyone.
Add in Pinterest style peer pressure and a lot of us feel like we come up short around the holidays.
How To Beat Holiday Stress
Plan out a holiday schedule now
Doing a little task every week will make the holidays seem much more manageable. Using a Printable Christmas Planner can really help you feel on top of things.
Use an app or spreadsheet to keep track of your budget and gift ideas
I use Santa’s Bag which is a free app on ios and it helps me remember what I have already bought and how much I have spent.
All too often we take on far too much in an effort to make the perfect Christmas. Create new traditions by dividing tasks up and get the kids involved in baking and decorating.
Cook ahead and freeze
Cookies and cookie dough, casseroles and sides can all be made ahead of time and frozen. It’s also a good idea to stock the freezer up with some easy meals for busy nights when there is no time to cook.
Pare down the decorating
Only put up the items you really love and keep the tree simple but elegant. This will save so much time and stress when it comes time to take the decorations down in January.
Trim the gift list and cut down on junk
Consider buying for children only or doing a secret Santa to avoid the stress of buying for many people. I’ve cut my list from 35 to 15 this year and I feel so relieved.
If you want some ideas for stocking stuffers that won’t clutter up your house and cause you even more stress, check out my list of 50 Stocking Stuffers That Will Cut Down on Junk
Buy in bulk or give tickets as gifts to save the hassle of the mall. Shopping online can be a great way to save money on your holiday shopping as you avoid impulse buys at the counter.
If you do a lot of online shopping, make sure to keep track of your orders and expected delivery dates so you know if something does not arrive on time.
My Christmas planner has online shopping trackers that are really helpful as well as Black Friday and Cyber Monday planners.
Focus on the “Reason for the Season”
Prioritize family time and making memories. No one really cares if things aren’t perfect. Here is a list of fun holiday traditions for families.
Use a Christmas Planner
Consider getting a Holiday Planner to do the legwork for you. This is my first year of using one and I already love it.
It is packed with over 50 pages of planning goodness including:
- Budget trackers
- Christmas card lists
- Black Friday Planner
- Christmas & Thanksgiving Meal Planners
- Online Order Tracking
- Stocking Stuffer planner
- Holiday To-Do list for November & December
- Printable Gift Certificates
- Family fun section with trivia, word puzzles & a family bucket list
and much more!
Plus there is a bonus printable children’s Christmas journal that would make a great stocking stuffer or December activity.
Acknowledge that everything doesn’t need to be perfect
Start holiday planning and preparations earlier
Simplify wherever you can when planning and holding festive celebrations
Stick to your budget
Scale down your holiday plans
Ponder what you really want to do to celebrate the holidays
Talk with family members and friends about what they want to do
Plan celebrations that express what the holidays truly mean for you
Identify old family traditions. Which ones do you love?
Opt to keep holiday traditions that bring you joy and happiness
Give yourself permission to let go of old traditions that you aren’t fond of
Establish start and stop times for parties
Take shortcuts like buying pre-made pies to save time
Examine options for pre-made meals or catering services
Promptly ask for help when you need it
Inform all prospective attendees of your holiday plans in advance
Discuss challenging issues in advance with a person who tends to create tension
Use place cards to assign seating in efforts to avoid tension-filled holiday gatherings
Short-circuit disagreeable family discussions by interrupting or changing the subject
Make a gift list, considering the amount of money you can comfortably spend
Shop early and make notes about where to get low-cost gifts
Ask for gift suggestions from the people on your gift list
Consider giving gift cards to save time and precious energy
Suggest a family name-drawing to reduce gift expenditures
Reduce the amount of money you spend overall for the holidays and per gift
Avoid making credit card purchases at holiday time
Think about making homemade food gifts to save dollars at holiday time
Shop early and place gifts in a gift drawer so you’ll be ready for the holidays
Schedule time to be with your kids for some special holiday moments
Keep the kids busy with holiday crafts. They’ll enjoy it and you can get more done.
Take time daily to meditate, even if only for a few minutes
Stress-Free Holiday Traveling
Plan holiday travel itineraries in advance
Travel during off-peak hours
Start out well rested
Build in extra money to your travel budget in case of emergencies
Arrive at the airport or other station early to more easily take care of last minute challenges
Expect to run into snags
Pack light and carry on your bag, rather than checking it
Allow extra time to travel from place to place and expect heavy traffic
Send your gifts in advance or take gift cards
Limit alcohol and caffeine
Pack plenty of healthy snacks that travel well without refrigeration
Bring plenty of things to keep the kids happily occupied
Make waiting times go faster and regain a happy holiday feeling by meditating
Use portable meditation props, like a favorite image on your smart phone or tablet
Plan to arrive at your holiday destination rested and excited to share your holidays with loved ones
FREE Printable “Beat Holiday Stress Check list”
Click the link below to download a free checklist for keeping the holidays stress-free this year.
Reduce Holiday Stress – Free Checklist
More Ideas To Beat Holiday Stress
How To Do Christmas On A Budget
10 Creative Christmas Photos you can do at home
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