The holidays can be an exciting time, but they can also be a stressful time, especially if we come into this bustling time of year behind the eight ball.
Let’s face it, we are all busy enough in the every day things of life that when something like the holidays roll around it can be enough to push us right over the edge.
There are things we can do to make this time just a bit more enjoyable, however. These things aren’t difficult to do. It’s just a matter of putting in the time now to save yourself the added stress later.
With some forethought and little bit of extra work ahead of time, you can make a real difference in the stress you do or don’t feel during the holiday season.
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Here’s how you can take the stress out of your holidays
It is so much more efficient to plan your meals ahead of time. You can shop more effectively, you can cook ahead of time since you know what you’re making, and you can save yourself the stress of hearing “What’s for dinner?”
Get your addresses in order
Are you sending holiday cards? Now is the time to decide who you will be sending them to and making sure that you’ve got the addresses you need. If not, put in the legwork now to get what you need.
Create your address labels
You will love yourself when it comes to sending your holiday cards if you create those address labels now. Print them out and tuck them away. I find the addresses are the most stressful thing about sending holiday cards. It is wonderful to take that part off the table during the stressful holiday time.
Plan and order your Christmas cards
Even better is to order your Christmas cards now. Sure, you might be able to get a slightly better sale price in the heat of the holiday season, but there comes a time when saving stress trumps saving money. This very well might be it, even for this super frugal gal.
Buy your stamps
Are you sensing a theme here? Let’s get all those holiday cards ready to go, and that includes getting your postage ready. I’ve even had a hard time finding stamps during the holiday season at times. Just grab them now to make life a whole lot easier down the road.
Will you be needing gifts for teachers? If so, start grabbing little things here and there now. Not only does that save you stress, it also can save you a little money since you’ve got more time to price shop now than you will likely have in a couple of weeks.
Check your stock
Do you have enough wrapping paper, tape, and bows? It never seems to fail. If I am not intentional in finding this out ahead of time, I always end up having to run to the store in the midst of holiday wrapping. This is not only annoying, it is also rather expensive in most cases.
Plan holiday attire
Do you have holiday parties to attend? Do you have what you need for your family to wear during this time of year? This is one of those things that I always fail to check ahead of time if I don’t make a point of being proactive with it. But, it is so nice to have everyone’s clothing all in place and to not be out shopping for a new dress a couple of hours before the party starts!
Out with the old
If you are going to be bringing a bunch of new stuff in, now is an excellent time to weed through the things you’ve got in your home. Unless you are lucky enough to have unlimited space, taking new stuff in often means something needs to go. Making the room now means you can put all your new stuff right away!
Update your gift list
If you are like me, you may have been picking up gifts along the way. Now is the time to inventory what you have and clearly determine what gifts you still need. Start coming up with a game plan for how to get your holiday shopping done in the most effective way and make sure you’re not stuck shopping for last minute gifts.
It is so hard to believe that the holidays are right around the corner, but they are. Now is the time to start getting things in order. Some of these things may be things you’d already thought of, but I’m guessing that some are not.
If you are looking to have holidays that are less stressful, get moving on these things now. You’ll thank yourself later!
Prepare your heart
Don’t neglect your own spiritual growth during the holidays! Fill your soul with Jesus and keep Scripture close at hand to combat overwhelm while tackling your to-do list. It’s the perfect way to fill your own soul before pouring into the lives of others.
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More to consider:
Are you looking to become more organized, productive, or driven in the New Year?
What kind of a difference would having more streamlined routines, goals, and schedules make in your life?
Jennifer Roskamp is a busy, homeschooling mom of eight including teenagers and infants with everything in-between. She’s also a wife to her husband and best friend of over 21 years. When she’s not juggling all these plates you can find her writing about all things parenting, saving money, and living with purpose over at TheIntentionalMom.com. You can also follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.