How to enjoy the holidays (stress free)

When I think of the approaching holidays it’s easy to dream of dinner parties, reading by the fire and tons of memory making moments. Of course, I’m quickly snapped back into reality when the memory of holidays past creep in… an overbooked calendar, the stress of doing it all and cranky kids. No thank you! I’m still reeling from an overly booked summer, and I refuse to let Christmas wreak the same havoc on my sanity. This is my favorite time of year and I intend to enjoy it! I’ve made myself a holiday plan. If you have additional ways to de-clutter the holidays, go ahead and share them in the comment section.

Holiday stress sneaks up and takes over... not this year! How to keep holiday FUN at a high (and holiday stress at a low)

  • Keep Pinterest in check! I love Pinterest it’s true, but I also know how easy it is to crop a picture. (I’ve done it from time to time. ;) ) I vow to remember that while a beautifully set table might be what I’m looking at… there’s a good chance that behind the camera is a screaming toddler, a destroyed living room and a photographer in jammies. I refuse to let Pinterest set the standard for what OUR holidays will look and feel like!
  • Pick one or two traditions (and eliminate the rest). Not everyone needs to have an Elf on the Shelf. We got one in the middle of December last year and the kids loved it. So we’ll do that this year, BUT that means I need to cut one of the traditions that’s not flying. (Like our week of Gingerbread fun. We’ve done it so many years in a row… and last year it didn’t rally the excitement it once did.)
  • Have some non-holiday fun. By the time the actual holiday rolls around it’s easy to be seriously burnt out. I’m going to schedule in some non-holiday fun like a family movie night that doesn’t involve a Christmas movie, or a special drink that’s not peppermint flavored.
  • Keep our regular routine. Kids (and maybe some adults… hee hee) function better with a routine. Holidays tend to throw our routine for a loop. This year I am going to strive for keeping our routine as close to normal as possible. That means meals are at the same time, bedtime is regularly scheduled (on most nights) and treats will be limited.
  • Ask for help. Ugh, the worst one on the list right? I’m actually getting pretty good at asking for help, although I’m sure the lengthy explanation that goes along with it isn’t always necessary. This year I’m going to make sure I don’t stretch myself too thin by trying to do everything all by myself. Hubby is a great cook and he would be more than happy to do most of the holiday cooking!
  • Schedule in down time. Yes, yes and yes! Down time is a huge part of our family and Christmas should be no exception. After all the kids need down time to get creative in the ornament making area, and I need time to read by the fire.

Now you’ve heard my plan… what’s yours?

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