Christmas Planning Tips For A Stress-Free Holiday
I'm not sure how this seems to happen every single year - the holidays sort of hide out there in the shadows and when everyone least expects it - BAM! They jump out and surprise us. I mean, they come at the same time every year. Shouldn't we know this by now? We get so wrapped up in the laziness of summer, then stumble into the craziness of back to school. Before we know it we're trying to find the right Halloween costume and keep our kids from spiraling out of control from their sugar rushes. We wake up and realize that we don't have much time until Christmas. Why do we put everything off and make it so stressful for ourselves and our loved ones? Form a plan and make the holidays easier this time around with a few of these useful Christmas tips
Planning Makes Perfect
There are a few things that help me sort out the craziness. One of them is using my trusty planner. Seems easy, I know. But you can't just write it in there and never refer to it. My husband and I sit down before each month and go over the calendar. We discuss the important dates and who has what coming up. Communication is key. Especially with the relatives that you might be traveling a fair amount of distance to see. My family and I travel at least five hours to see our relatives for the holidays. I like to put it on their radar when summer starts winding down. We write it all down so no one can say that they weren't informed. Eye rolls and long sighs avoided at Thanksgiving when we're talking about Christmas. I'm not new here, people.
Dangers Of Over-Planning
That being said, you don't want to OVER plan, or you won't enjoy one single thing you've highlighted in your planner. Don't overexert yourself. You can say no to that co-worker's white elephant gift exchange. Or to Aunt Betty's potluck. It's ok. Between all the stuff your kids are doing and the two (sometimes even three or four) different sides of the family, there doesn't leave much room for that bake sale or your neighbor's kid's play. You don't want to look back on this most joyous time of year as a blur of egg nog, wrapping paper, and covered dishes.
Shop Smart, Shop Early
Along with planning out the dates early, I plan out the shopping and gifts early. One thing that has helped my husband and me stay on track is to take out a little bit of money each month. By the time the holidays roll around we have a nice amount to shop with. I like to get started a little early, make my list, and catch the deals as they happen earlier in the year. It has always surprised me that people are out on Christmas Eve (my husband being one of them) doing their shopping. Hello?! Were you not listening?! The holiday season happens at the same time every year. Do yourself a favor and chip away at it a little at a time if you can afford to. It will make you so much more pleasant to be around when you're handing out those gifts. Thank me later.
Don't Be Afraid To...
Ask for help. Chances are you have some very capable family members that aren't sure what you need unless you ask. Growing up I never realized everything my mom went through during the holidays. To my sister and me it was just some sort of seamless magic. Then we grew up. It's still the most wonderful time of the year, but now I do most of the wrapping for Mom while my sis "helps" in the kitchen. She is definitely there to make sure her favorite cheeseball gets made! As an adult with my own family now, I let my husband know what I need help with and give him some tasks to get off of my plate. Hey, he's not shopping until the 24th anyway, right?
As the years go on and our daughter gets older I understand that what the holidays look like for us right now will most likely change. But I know I have a partner to help. And calendars and lists to help keep me organized. Oh, and great online shopping options to keep me away from those crazy crowds! If you can start your Christmas planning early, this hectic season won't be able to jump out from the shadows and test your fight or flight reflexes. You'll be able to sit back, relax and enjoy the holidays you worked so hard to piece together for you and your family.
Kyra works from her home office in beautiful Grand Rapids, Michigan, surrounded by the things and people she loves: her supportive husband, her sassy eighteen-month-old daughter and her lovable dog. Between brightening homes with her artwork, Kyra brings her energy and expertise to the Designer Showcase, where she hopes to continue inspiring individuals to step out of their comfort zones.