Simplifying the Holidays


My weekly mom’s group’s discussion was on simplifying the Holidays this past week- and boy, what a much needed to hear topic!

We all sometimes need someone to tell us it’s okay to give ourselves a little grace. To lower our expectations. To not completely stress ourselves out.

The Holiday season is truly what you make it. If you stress out, you will in turn stress your Husband out. Your children will feel the stress, and act out accordingly. It’s a vicious cycle- let’s end it.

STEP 1: You DO NOT have to attend EVERY Holiday party that you get invited to. You just don’t. And you don’t have to feel guilty. If I attended every party we were invited to every year, I would not have time to spend with my own family. And especially at this time of year, it’s a time to reflect on what’s important, and family should top that list.

STEP 2: If it’s not your thing- you don’t have to bake 1000 cookies for that Holiday Cookie Exchange. I love to bake, but I’m usually already baking a lot of cookies, candies, and cakes for other occasions. Stick with Step 1…you don’t have to even go to that cookie party. But if you do, don’t feel bad if you buy the cookies. Not one other busy Momma will judge you. She will secretly be wishing she thought of buying hers.

STEP 3: Christmas cards. I usually order mine from Shutterfly. They almost always have a coupon code {right now it’s FRIENDS for 30-50% off} If you want to really simplify this process- they can even mail them all for you. No licking envelopes, counting stamps, or cramping in your hand from filling out addresses. I’ll take it!

STEP 4: Shopping- I’ve started ordering more and more presents online over the past few years. Shopping is hard enough with a toddler, so why not do it in your pajamas? Grab an Amazon Prime membership, use a free trial, and for 30 days you can get free 2 day shipping. Or shop daily deal sites like Zulily or Groopdealz.

STEP 5: Don’t go gift crazy. My little guy gets so many presents from his sometimes overly generous Grandparents, that we don’t really buy him that many. He only gets 3-4 presents from us, and that’s totally okay. It’s not all about the gifts anyway. To make it easier, you can stick to the 4 gift rule: something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read.

STEP 6: “Just Do You.” This was my favorite tip that  they shared at Mom’s group. If you love baking- do it. If you hate it, take it off the to-do list. The same goes for Lavish Decorating, Elf on the Shelf, Throwing Parties, Hand-making Gifts. Just do what you love, and leave the rest up to everyone else. I personally love crafting, decorating, and baking. But, you don’t have to love all of those things to enjoy your Holiday, promise. Know that it’s okay to ask for help and you don’t have to do it all alone.

Let’s try really hard to remember the REAL reason for the season. And try to enjoy this year as much as we possibly can. Our attitude determines how smoothly everything goes, and I want to remember to have an attitude of gratitude, and watch my son’s eyes light up with the joy of the season.

What are some steps you can take to make your Holidays run a little more smoothly? I’d love to hear your favorite tips and tricks!

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Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom

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