7 tips to get the most out of your holidays

holiday title

 

Christmas is my favorite time of the year!  I love smelling wassail, seeing Christmas trees in windows, holiday music… it’s just the best!  Sometimes though, I don’t feel that get enough out of the season.  I look forward to it all year long, and then when it comes, I get so caught up in all the STUFF I have to do, that I forget to simplify and enjoy.  Here are 7 tips to help you get the most out of your holidays!

1. Define what Christmas means to you.

This is one of the most important things you can do this season.  What does Christmas mean to you?  Is it a beautifully decorated home?  Is it a real tree?  A fake tree? Tons of presents? A few smaller gifts? Nativity scenes? Traditions?  Extended family? Immediate family? Service? Church? What role does Christ play? Take a minute and think about it.  If you want to, write it down.  Once you have figured out what Christmas means to you, it makes it sooo much easier to figure out how to get the most out of it.

2. Create a holiday bucket list.

Once you have defined Christmas, you will be able to figure out what you want to get out of the season.  Don’t regret not doing certain things once the season is past.   Instead, make a list early on of all the things you want to do this holiday season.  Maybe you love the festival of trees, or temple square.  Maybe you want to have a Christmas movie marathon or a hot chocolate party.  This is a great time to schedule in family traditions or decide to try some new ones! Whatever your favorites are, make a list.  Don’t make it too overwhelming, but if there is something you want to do.. Plan it!  Pencil them in on a calendar!  The weekends go SO FAST in November and December.  Use them wisely!

3. Make a budget and stick to it.

Gifts have become such a central part of Christmas—aka—the most stressful.  So many of us feel the need to top last year’s Christmas.  Just make it a little bit bigger, a little bit better… and then come January we cringe when we realize how much we actually spent.  Sound like you?  It DEFINITELY sounds like me.  This year, we were determined to change our spending habits when it came to Christmas.  The solution?  Start with a budget.  Figure out how much you want to spend TOTAL on Christmas.  Next, make a list of all the people you would like to give a gift to.  Then, figure out how you want to budget for each person.  Maybe you want to spend $20 on parents and $40 on all of your neighbors…. Whatever it is…. Write it down!  And as you buy things, record it.  Make a game of it!  If you spend less than your allotted amount, you win!  Figure out something fun to do with the left over money!  It will make you more conscious of how much you are spending and give you some incentive to stay within budget.

4. Make gifts more meaningful.

Instead of buying more STUFF for your loved ones…. Try and buy memories.  Event tickets, dance lessons, crochet needles and a lesson from you, a trip, pictures or hand written stories from kids are all great ideas!   Not only will it not end up broken or stepped on, but it will bring you closer to them!  If you plan ahead and put some thought into it, it can also be a great way to save money on some amazing gifts!  Check out 10 ‘experience’ gifts that won’t become clutter for more ideas.

5. Get it done early!

Make a deadline to have all of your shopping done by.  Mine is December 7th! I want everything put up, bought and wrapped by then so that I don’t have to worry about it anymore.  Then, I am free to enjoy hot chocolate, movies, English toffee, parties and Christmas lights without worrying about things that still need to be done. I know a few people that are awesome enough to do Christmas shopping all year long… I’m not that proficient.  But seriously, kids shouldn’t be the only one to enjoy the holidays!  Get all the stressful stuff out of the way first so you can sit in front of your beautifully lit tree in fuzzy socks, listening to Bing Crosby, and not have a care in the world! Obviously you know what I’ll be doing come December 7th…

6. Christmas cards…. In February!

I love Christmas cards! I love hearing what friends and family are up to and I especially love the pictures.  As far as sending them goes…. I am awful.  I have always been awful at sending thank you cards (sorry to all those who sent wedding gifts) and letters. I always write them… I just never send them.  I don’t know why.  It’s not rocket science to walk something out to the mail box.  Christmas cards are no exception.  I always have the intention of getting them done and out well before Christmas.  Does it ever happen? No.  And then I feel this pang of guilt as I look at everyone else’s.  Solution?  Don’t send Christmas cards.  Send Valentine’s Day cards or St. Patrick’s Day cards or Christmas in July cards.  Take some of the pressure off!  People want to see and hear about your family… but they don’t care if the card comes in December or June! Surprise your relatives with a family card in a different month! Take one MAJOR thing off of your to-do list and leave it for another time of the year.

7. Don’t stress!

Take a deep breath! Make a to-do list and don’t stress! Make sure to take lots of baths, eat lots of chocolate and don’t stress the small stuff!  If your wrap jobs aren’t perfect, if you burn your peanut brittle, if you forget to leave cookies out for Santa…. It’s all good! Your kids will still love you, your husband will still love you and so will I.  Cut yourself some slack and get out there and REALLY enjoy the holidays this year!!

What tips and tricks do you have to enjoy the holidays??

 

 

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Comments

  1. I love this! it’s so easy to get frazzled during the holidays

  2. These are great ideas. Things can get so hectic and people often forget the entire reason for the season. This would be a great way to stay level headed. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Great ideas! I like the meaningful memories & sending the Christmas cards in February :)

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