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HOW TO STAY STRESS FREE OVER THE HOLIDAYS

Hello everyone – and welcome to my very first blog post! I’m so nervous, but would love to hear your feedback. Thanks so much for reading!



Here we are again! Thanksgiving just came and went in a flash. Where did this year go? I’m finding it hard to accept that we are almost at the end of another year. The holidays have just snuck up on us.


The holiday season can be very overwhelming for some. There’s an immense amount of pressure to make everything perfect. The perfect decorations, the perfect tree. Lots of gifts. Entertaining people with dinners and parties.


I know I have personally felt this way – that self-imposed pressure to make sure my home looks beautiful. However, over the years, I’ve learned that having more and creating something extravagant isn't always the best answer.


I understand how we all feel stressed because of all of the extras that need to be done this time of year. Not only do we have to keep up with everyday life, but we have these holidays to plan, execute, and recover from – and hope to pull it off without any hitches.


The number one piece of advice I can give to people for the holidays is to plan everything early.


Tackling bite-sized tasks early will help you stay organized, on schedule, and help you remain stress free.


Start off by making a list of all that needs to be done. And then set to work on it as soon as you can. There are so many tasks you can complete ahead of time.


House Cleaning

Getting your home ready is a challenge in itself. If you are able, hire a house cleaner. That is a godsend for me. I do love cleaning myself but bringing in some professional help around the holidays is a big stress reliever. For instance, I have my house cleaner scheduled once in mid-November and again in mid-December to help me. That’s one big job off my checklist.


Food

Another thing I highly recommend is online grocery delivery or curbside pickup. Oh my gosh!! I discovered this last year and I am obsessed! I realized, too, that even though I love to cook, I don't like going inside the grocery store; plus, it takes so much time. So, online grocery orders will save you time and money on impulse purchases. And buy your nonperishable items a month in advance. Order your turkey and ham, too.


Menu Planning

A month before the holiday, you can do things like plan your guest list and your menu. If you’re having company, let them know what you would like them to bring so you have less to cook – and it makes people feel good (less of a burden) to bring their favorite foods to share.


Also, take 15 minutes to clear out your refrigerator and the freezer. This may also reveal items you have hiding in there and make room for holiday foods.


Linens

Get your linens washed and ironed! Do you know how many times I’ve scrambled to get linens ready the night before because they were all creased. Nope! I get those babies sorted well in advance.


Gift Shopping

This one is a no-brainer: start gift buying very early!


Ask those you buy for to give you some hints so that you aren’t just buying random things - but rather, things you know they will like and use.


Think about “experience” gifts for people like massages, facials, car detailing and event tickets instead of a physical item. This will help cut down on extra items that someone has to create a space to store.


Another thing I do is to purge the toy room if you have small children (or a spouse who has too much stuff). Here’s a valuable life lesson: do the purging when your kid/spouse is not home! You already know that they will have a hard time parting with items. Get rid of everything you know they do not use or play with. Make room for holiday replacements.


Holiday Cards

If you send holiday cards, you can prepare those well in advance too. Get all of your addresses stored on your computer so you can simply print labels each year instead of hand writing your envelopes


Holiday Decorations

I feel so much better this year now that I have seriously decluttered my holiday decorations. I donated of a lot of items that took up a lot of space and took so long to set up. Honestly, my brain is so much better off without a ton of decorations in the attic.


However, I am a sucker for Christmas trees, so I love to put up multiple trees - but you won't catch me decorating before Thanksgiving (because my husband won’t bring down the boxes until he has recovered from Thanksgiving dinner).


It seems like people are decorating earlier and earlier. To each their own. If that's you, congratulations on checking something off of your list early! We keep it simple. I like to use real garland and we have a real tree for our main one – there’s less to store in the attic; they can go with the greenery pickup in the new year.


I also try to get my decorating done in one day. If it drags on, it means I'm really doing too much.


The most important thing to remember when you are preparing for the holidays is that you must have fun! The whole point is to spend time with your loved ones and enjoy your time together. Being organized and getting things done early will certainly contribute to that. You need to feel stress free and relaxed so that you can enjoy it, too!


That’s it! Thank you for being a part of my first blogging experience. I hope you have the best holidays ever!


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