It is almost Christmas season and that makes my heartbeat race with excitement! I realize, however, that it may make your heartbeat race with fear! There is no reason to fear the Christmas season! Like they say in the upcoming “Bad Moms” sequel, “Let’s take back Christmas!” I have a few tips and tricks for you on how to create a Christmas season with less stress and more joy.
Start off on the right foot.
Before we can create a Christmas we love, we need to look back at our Christmas seasons past and figure out why they were so stressful. What exactly caused the overwhelm and panic?
Are you overextending yourself by saying “yes” to every party and gathering invitation?
Are you doing everything last minute due to not planning ahead?
Do you run out of money before you finish your shopping?
Do you just have too much STUFF to get out and decorate with?
Knowing exactly what your issue is will help you determine the best course of action to correct that issue this year. Now, think back to your Christmases when you were a child. Chances are, the things you remember and cherish about those times were things that your family did every single year. I remember putting up the Christmas tree on Thanksgiving, making a paper Christmas village, and opening up a present a week early. All things we did every year, i.e., Tradition! Make a list of Christmas traditions your family has and add some new things you would like to incorporate into your Christmas season this year. Make these traditions a priority!
Yes, I know it is still Halloween season as I am writing this post, but this is the perfect time to start preparing for Christmas! Stay with me here, because I am not crazy. LOL If you take the time over the next 8-10 weeks to prepare, you will not be rushing around last minute to buy the things you forgot or buying in excess at the store because you can’t remember how much wrapping paper you saved from a year ago! Trust me on this. Here are some things you can prepare ahead of time:
Gift wrap: Pull all your supplies out and make a list of items you need to refill. (Wrapping paper, bags, different size boxes, tape, ribbon, bows, tags, etc.)
Pantry items: What spices and baking items do you need that you can buy little by little over the next few weeks?
Toys & Clothes: Prepare your kid’s rooms for new toys and clothes by sorting through what they already have. Donate items in good condition and throw away broken items. My kids have birthdays and Christmas between November and December, so this is on my ‘to do’ list for sure!
Electronic Supplies: Stock up on batteries and charging cords for your cameras and Christmas decorations.
Christmas Decor: Make a list of what you already have and what you need or would like to buy!
Addresses: Start gathering addresses from friends and family if you are sending Christmas cards! And don’t forget to add postage to your shopping list!
Start making your list of who you buy Christmas presents for. Gather information like clothing size, likes, and dislikes. And start jotting down gift ideas for each person. This will save SO much stress later on in the season! I actually keep a running list throughout the year, so as I think of a genius gift idea for someone, I can write it down and have it handy when I actually start shopping.
The last few months of the year are full of decorations! You’ve got Fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving…and by the time you get to Christmas, you’re just tired of extra STUFF lying around! Each year, I donate decorations that I am no longer in love with. As my style evolves, I start replacing older decorations with newer styles. Yes, some of these decorations have memories attached to them, but I can get the same warm fuzzy feeling by taking photos of those items and putting them in a scrapbook! If you don’t love it, pass it on to someone who will!
Now that we are down to just the items we love, let’s enjoy them for a while! We start decorating for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving. And the decor stays up until after the new year starts. Don’t be fooled, though, once January 1st rolls around, I am always tired of looking at it all and ready to get it all put up for another year! LOL But, decorating early and keeping it up until January allows a full 5-6 weeks of enjoyment! (And the wonderful Christmas tree scent!)
Wrapping it all up
After Christmas is over, it is important to take stock on what happened, what stressed you out, and what you loved while it is fresh in your mind. Take a few moments to just journal your thoughts on the holiday season! Write yourself any reminders for next December, and pack it away with your Christmas decor. I have no doubt that with a little preparation and forethought, you will have a Christmas season that honors tradition and creates memories rather than induces panic and last-minute shopping trips!
If you would like to dive deeper into the idea of creating your Christmas season, I invite you to join The 2017 (sane) Christmas Season Challenge! (It’s FREE, y’all!) You will get an email from me each morning of the challenge. This email will talk a little bit more about each of the topics mentioned in this post. Not only that, but I designed worksheets to help you work through it! (And they’re pretty, too, because that’s totally important! LOL) AND I will go live every day in our private Facebook Group to talk about each topic and answer any questions you may have about the information. (All videos will be recorded and available for you to watch anytime!)
ARE YOU IN?!
The challenge starts Monday, October 30th and ends Friday, November 3rd, 2017.