The holiday season is upon us- Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa and New Year’s Day (depending on your traditions). This cheerful time is filled with dinner parties at home, parties at work and family get-together. Among all this tinsel, cozy sweaters, gift wrapping paper and eggnog are part of the package that comes along with this holiday season. This time of the year is not only filled with food and fun but also with an endless amount of patience, planning and energy. To keep the stress at bay and to keep things jolly this holiday season here are a few tips to keep you on track to have the best possible holiday season that can be full of fun.
Take time to have fun
It is important to remember that the holiday season is all about celebrating! You should not let all the work, that this season demands, take anything away from your chances of enjoying yourself. Take a minute to breathe and take it all in. All this shopping, decorating and meeting people can be overwhelming – pace the activities out, close your eyes and take deep breaths so that you do not get bogged down by the preparation chores and that you enjoy slogging to make this holiday season a memorable one for you and your loved ones.
Brace yourself for potential tense or awkward situations
Whether it is about who gets to sit at the “adult table” or the uncle who drinks a little too much or politics, this season will have a ton of awkward and tense conversations. Let your family not forget that the season is about expressing gratitude and love. It might help to plan enjoyable activities that everyone can participate in.
Don’t be a perfectionist
Everybody has a different idea of how the season is supposed to go- try not to hold on to this idea. Holding on to this “ideal holiday season” will be the root of your stress. Keep an open mind and embrace change and others’ inputs with open arms. This way, everyone will feel included.
Prepare ahead of time
Getting a head start is always a good idea. Leaving things to the last minute will only add to your stress. Do the shopping early enough and if you are throwing a party, it is never too early to start prepping for the dishes you will be serving. You can also set the table before your guests arrive so that you can be with them during the party and not spend all your time cooking, heating food or setting the table.
Manage your money
Set a budget for your shopping so that you can buy gifts for friends and family, and for your party. In case you are hosting a party, choose doable meals and do not leave out shopping to the last minute! Make a list and stick to it.
Cleaning and decorating
De-clutter and throw away everything you do not need. Organize all your items so that you won’t have trouble finding anything. Decorating should be part of the fun, not a daunting task. Try to make sure all the lights are in working condition and the decorations are not thrown around before getting started.
Take care of yourself
This season might put pressure on you to do things (big and small) for people. It is important to only take on as much as you can handle. Get a massage, go for a walk, reflect on your year, but make time for yourself. It is about time you got yourself recharged and revitalized. Calmer you will be, the more you will be able to enjoy the festivities.
It is easy to get lost in all the traditions and rituals and in the giving and receiving of gifts. To have a stress free season, it is vital to plan and be organized and be open to a few changes. It is okay to make a few mistakes! Try not to forget the spirit of the season, after all, ’tis the season to be jolly!