Are you looking for stress free holiday tips? You can stress less and enjoy the holidays more this year!
My mentor laughs and calls me a Type A person in a Type B body because, many times, I embody both.
As a firstborn, I like to have everything planned out and executed perfectly. But as a busy wife, mom of three (almost four!), homemaker, and business owner, I’ve learned that I absolutely cannot do it all. There are times I need to let the to-do list sit undone.
There are ways to live with a flexible plan that can make for a stress free holiday.
Operating under a stress free holiday mentality will help you create lasting memories, savor the true reason for the season, and enjoy the holidays more.
The following ways are things I’ve learned that will make for a stress free holiday.
My holidays have been much more enjoyable since I’ve implemented these tips, and I hope these will help you enjoy a stress free holiday season this year!
5 Stress Free Holiday Tips
1. Meal plan.
Whether you meal plan on a regular basis or not, meal planning should be a must on your holiday planning list!
Our family has enjoyed hosting Thanksgiving the past several years, and there is absolutely no way I could have held such an event at my house without a proper meal plan.
Meal planning doesn’t have to be complicated, but knowing your holiday menu ahead of time will help you enjoy the season without the stress of a frozen turkey an hour before you need to serve dinner.
2. Decorate simply.
Our home isn’t elaborate, so our decor won’t be either. You don’t have to have a Pinterest-perfect house to enjoy the season.
We decorate our tree with memory ornaments as well as hand-made crafts from our children. We add a few white lights to our trees and bushes, and pull out our nativity set collection, but we don’t do much beyond that.
Now, if going all out with decorating brings you life and joy instead of stress, then go for it!
But, for many people, extensive decorating can be stressful. Opt for a stress free holiday by keeping decor simple.
3. Keep batteries on hand.
You might laugh, but lacking batteries when you need them at the last minute can be a real stress!
Whether it be for the Christmas lights, various electronic ornaments and decorations, or, especially, for any battery-operated toys your children may open on Christmas Day, ensuring a full supply of batteries can help make for a stress free holiday.
While it’s been said there’s nothing worse than toy packaging, our little ones can get incredibly frustrated if they can’t play with those toys once we open them if we don’t have batteries on hand.
We’ve found RAYOVAC® Alkaline batteries to be reliable and a fair price. While we buy generic brands for many items (hello: I’m an ALDI lover!), we’ve learned that batteries are on item we can’t skimp on. We’ve found RAYOVAC® at Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, and at a variety of grocery stores. Here’s a full list of where to find them.
My husband keeps a full supply of batteries in our garage, so we’re never caught off-guard when we need them.
4. Buy gifts ahead of time.
I used to be the worst with last-minute gift buying, but I’ve learned that one secret of a stress free holiday is to buy as much ahead of time as possible!
My husband and I have curated an amazing gift guide to help others wade through the too-often stressful holiday shopping season, and we usually strive to get all of our shopping done by the beginning of December.
One way we’ve been able to eliminate shopping stress it go only buy our children three gifts each Christmas, and we also scope out deals year round and keep presents stashed away in our gift closet.
5. Don’t do it all.
Our community is chock full of free and affordable events throughout the holiday season. There’s walking nativities, light shows, open houses, Christmas plays, caroling, parties galore, and so much more.
While it sounds fun to attend all of these, we’ve realized that sticking to just a few seasonal events helps to ensure a stress free holiday.
We create memories that are tied to laughter and warm feelings instead of the stress of rushing from one event to another.
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What are your tips for a stress free holiday?
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of RAYOVAC® The opinions and text are all mine.
Lisa @ This Pilgrim Life
I totally agree about batteries! It’s frustrating when you need them but don’t have any on hand. And then I inevitably forget them at the store and end up in a perpetuating cycle. (I currently have a pencil sharpener in dire need of new batteries, but keep forgetting to buy them).
I have learned to try to keep the holidays simple too. Around this time we make a holiday calendar together as a family and write out all our special events. Writing it all out helps to build anticipation and also helps us to avoid over-planning. We hang it up on the wall next to our card tree. (Getting excited just writing about it! I love this season!)
I love your thoughts on stress-free holidays. I especially applaud the get-your-gifts-ahead idea, and the don’t-try-to-do-it-all one. I think they tie into the idea of knowing yourself — know who you are, what you enjoy, what puts you over the edge. If you hate to cook, don’t plan an elaborate Christmas dinner; Chinese take-out is fine 🙂 If you know you will be disappointed if you don’t have time to make crafts or cookies with your kids, then prioritize that over some other holiday event (maybe you skip the office Christmas party). The more you figure out what makes the holiday wonderful for you, the better you can tailor your schedule to suit it.
I’m a big believer in simplifying as much as possible. Since we tend to have the same food every Thanksgiving, I have a Thanksgiving section in my recipe binder with all of the recipes collected there, as well as a menu and a rough guide to when to start cooking what (make these things the day before, etc.)
I’m also a big believer in doing what works for your family. After more than a decade of trying, it became untenable for us to spend Christmas with my husband’s extended family. (My extended family lives overseas, so we can’t spend Christmas with them.) My husband’s family aren’t bad people; but one sister is married to a fundamental Muslim who would issue increasingly long lists of what hoops we had to jump through to not offend him (him simply staying home was not an option; but we could not serve ham, could not give presents to his children, could not display a nativity, could not play Christmas music, could not wish each other a Merry Christmas, etc.) and his brother’s partner is a militant atheist who loves Christmas but mocks any of the religious aspects of the holiday. Eventually it was easier just to stay away. That was a difficult battle and came with 5 years of guilt trips; but now we have lovely, relaxing Christmases that work for our family. Some of our favourite non-traditional traditions: Everyone chooses a favourite food and that’s what we eat for Christmas dinner (even if it’s cold pizza). Christmas night, after the kids go to bed, we watch a horror film. (This one has actually morphed over the years. Those first few years when the guilt trips were at their worst I needed the horror film; horror films are very good at building the tension and then releasing it, and I was so tense because of the Christmas wars that I needed to go through that process to get my own body to relax; but it hasn’t been so bad these days, so last year we mixed it up and watched a not-kid-friendly comedy instead.) We’ve had to work really hard to create meaningful Christmases; but we’ve gotten there in the end.
The holidays don’t tend to stress me out, but there were some years were finances were stressing to me. Trying to come up with gifts on a tiny budget would get to me. It’s not so frustrating now, because we don’t have to give as many gifts. I say reduce your gift giving list.
I LOVE this list! I had several boxes of treasured ornaments that are NOT coming out this year because I don’t want to stress if my very active 2-year-old decides to pull ornaments off the tree. Instead we are trying to keep decorating simple (cheap plastic ornaments from the discount store)! I definitely need to work on no.5 though – I always hate feeling like I’m missing out so I tend to overschedule. 🙁