Let’s be real – the holidays makes this time the most stressful part of the year. Whether traveling, hosting or simply partying at others’ homes, everything can add more stress on top of present shopping, wrapping and decorating. If I have learned anything by being pregnant this year, it’s that you sometimes have to make compromising or let things go that just create stress in your life, and that includes all the little things the holidays bring, so I’m sharing my favorite tips and tricks to help ease the stress of the season.
Sometimes invited to tons of holidays parties and various celebrations, but it’s OK to say no! Don’t commit to more than you can or should handle, and pick those that you will enjoy the most or are top priority. Sometimes this has to include Christmas Eve or Christmas Day celebrations – when you have multiple families and different geographic locations, you sometimes have to save yourself from the run around and just say no.
I always tell people to have all of your Christmas presents bought at least two to three weeks before Christmas – this way, there’s absolutely no stress about last minute orders that don’t show up on time. Make a list of everyone you have to buy for and then slowly add gift ideas leading up to Thanksgiving on it’s. This way, but my the time you enter the holiday season, you already have a ready-to-order list for quick and easy shopping.
I also love to make a “schedule” for myself to get the wrapping done, like wrapping one present per night, or spending 30 minutes on Sunday nights to wrap. This way there’s no last-minute bad wrapping jobs in Christmas Eve and late nights. I also set up a designated room in our home for present storage and wrapping so that I don’t have to clean everything up every time I wrap some gifts and can step in to wrap gifts when I have free time.
Let’s be real, there’s nothing worse than getting dressed up for Christmas Dinner only to realize your clothes have “shrunk” a little since last year and you’re going to be uncomfortable all night. Make the night feel a lighter with a casual or jeans-approved attire. Even better, make Christmas Day a pajama party and see who can wear the most festive pajamas!
I have not stepped into a store to do Christmas gift shopping for almost three years now (in the exception of a few items) and it has been AMAZING! With technology like Google Shopping, it’s now easier to find retailers with the cheapest price for an item you’re looking for, and most stores do free shipping this time of the year. Use apps like Honey or Wikibuy to find discount codes or cheaper stores for your item – both are available for Google Chrome browser add-one and automatically ask you to check when you click checkout. I save so much money using these apps and even more than when I shop in store!
If you must go to a store to get something, try to use stores with the express pick up option. Walmart, Target and so many large stores now offer “order online, pick up same day” options for FREE that helps you to bypass the time and effort of finding an item and standing in line waiting to checkout.
Simplifying your home decor for the holidays doesn’t mean you’re a Grinch in the making. In no way are we obligated to over decorate and have the brightest house on the block, and we do just that. In our home, we have one mantel garland, our Christmas tree and a simple strand of colored lights outside to trim our house. We have typically skip any fancy centerpieces, large displays, and full decor swaps for the holidays that take hours to set up because they just cause more clutter and stress in our already packed little home filled with torn wrapping paper and stacks of presents.
Some of the best gifts are about traditions versus how much money they cost. In our house, my mom has always given us socks for Christmas – and honestly it’s become one of my favorite traditions because we neglect this simple thing all year round! Gifting your children with Christmas Eve pajamas the night before or spending a day at home together on Christmas Day to play with your new gifts may be just the fun stress reliever you need to kick off the holiday and enjoy together to build memories for years to come.