As we get into mid-November, you’re probably starting to think about your holiday plans, getting gifts, and possibly hosting a holiday party for family and friends. Proper preparation and planning can help create many magical moments and memories you’ll cherish for years to come. Without some forethought, this season can become quite stressful. In this blog, we’ll share some tips to help you navigate the season, so you can have yourself a stress-free holiday!
Tip 1. Start Early!
First thing is first, we always recommend beginning your holiday planning early. We’re just over a month out, so it’s great to start planning today.
It can be incredibly overwhelming to make a ton of decisions upfront, like who to get gifts for, how much to spend, whether you want to eat out or host a party or dinner. And, if you’re hosting, what to serve your guests. (Sidebar: I’m already tired thinking about the list of things I need to do!). All to say, the sooner you start, the better.
Tip 2. Prioritize planning for experiences that bring you the most joy from the season.
The holiday season can be enjoyable for different reasons. Some people love shopping and the gift-gifting aspect, while some people like the togetherness of the holiday season and spending time with loved ones. Some might simply enjoy admiring holiday decorations in the neighbourhood with some hot cider or mulled wine. What brings you the most joy from the season? Start planning from there.
For example, if you love hosting dinners and bringing people together, start by making a list of people you’d like to see over the holidays. Out of these people, who would you like to visit versus host at your place? From there, you can create an invite list and design a menu (catered or home-made).
Try not to overwhelm yourself with everything that needs to be planned all at once. By focusing on the parts of the holiday you love most, you can get some creative juices flowing and start putting more structure around your holidays. The positive start can spur momentum to plan for other aspects of the holidays that you might find more challenging.
Tip 3. Build yourself a holiday squad
You don’t have to do everything and no, it doesn’t have to be perfect. In line with our second tip, prioritizing the aspects of the season that you enjoy most can help you filter through the feelings of needing to get everyone the perfect gift, hosting the greatest holiday party or dinner, or picking the perfect restaurant to go to. It’s all noise once you know what your priorities are.
Say, you love decorating the house, but know someone in your circle who’s a great gift-getter, party-planner, or an amazing cook. This is where building your holiday squad is important. Creating a support network of people in your life who can help you with areas you’re not well-versed in or don’t really enjoy doing can make planning a lot easier. Your squad can be made up of family, friends, neighbours, colleagues, etc. Know someone who is super up-to-date with tech gadgets? Beauty products? Why not consult them for gift ideas. Have your friend who loves to cook build you a menu, while you can recommend some decorations for their home. All to say, if you’re someone who loves decorating, focus your energy on materializing your holiday wonderland. Your squad can help with all the other ‘stuff’ that you may not enjoy as much.
Tip 4: Simplify Gift-Giving
Working with a tight budget, or simply having a hard time narrowing down the list of gifts you need to get? Consider these ideas to simplify gift-giving:
- Secret Santa or White Elephant: If you have a large family or group of friends, consider organizing a Secret Santa or White Elephant gift exchange. This reduces the number of gifts to purchase and adds an element of fun.
- Set Gift Limits: Discuss and set spending limits with your loved ones to ensure gift exchanges remain reasonable and stress-free.
- Homemade Gifts: Get creative and make homemade gifts. They can be more personal and heartfelt, often appreciated more than store-bought items.
Tip 5: Remember to Take Care of Yourself
Amidst the hustle and bustle of holiday planning, don't forget to take care of yourself. Make time for relaxation, exercise, and activities that bring you joy. For some tips on winter wellness, consider reading our blog about Staying Healthy and Active during the Cold Months.
Also remember that no matter how meticulously you plan, unexpected situations can arise. In those moments, try to be flexible and adapt to changes as they come.
Christmas and the holidays should be a time of joy and celebration, not a source of stress and anxiety. By following these tips for a stress-free Christmas season, you can create a more relaxed and enjoyable holiday season. With early preparation, prioritization, and a holiday squad, you can focus on what truly matters. We hope these tips help you navigate the festive season with ease, leaving more time to savor the magic and warmth of Christmas with your loved ones.
Psst, if you’re planning to host a holiday dinner, consider Mi BOWL for your catering needs!