The holidays can be a very busy season and what better way to make them less hectic then to use some helpful tips and planning strategies!
Busy schedules, Christmas parties, family gatherings, Christmas baking, school performances, shopping trips, vacations; these are only a fraction of the many things that most people find themselves swamped in during the holiday season.
In this post I am going to share my favorite ways that I have found helpful for reducing the business and chaos and, being able to enjoy the festivities and ‘reason of the season’, much more!
One way to help prepare yourself for the crazy holiday season is to think back to last year. What did you do that worked? What didn’t work? How can you improve the season and atmosphere in your home this time around?
So let’s look at the 7 ways to avoid burnout during the holiday season.
1. Start Christmas shopping early!
Don’t wait until the week of Christmas to start the Christmas shopping. Sometimes the pressure does motivate us and we’ll get it done, but why wait when you could have things taken care of much earlier and avoided extra stress. And extra spending.
When you are rushed, it is easier to just grab things and likely buy more then you actually need and in the process spend more money.
Get a head start. You can begin even as early as when back to school sales start. Avoid last minute runs to the stores every day.
So how do we plan when to shop and what to get, in an organized way? That brings us to the next point.
2. Use a planner to cover all the details
Using a holiday planner will save you so much time, energy and money! Planners have a purpose. They were designed by someone who has been in your shoes and was desperate to figure out a solution to the problem.
A planner works when used consistently and correctly.
One way that planners are used is to keep track of all the gifts needing to be purchased, the items needed for parties and get together’s, places to go, baking to do, house cleaning and more. Some prefer more of a weekly schedule that can then be broken down into daily tasks, assigned at the beginning of each day.
Other’s prefer having an overall monthly running to-do list.
3. Don’t over do the gifts
Keep it realistic but yet special for each person. Either set a specific budget amount for each person, or do group gifts (like a basket of different items for a household/family). Some family’s do a gift exchange to help avoid over abundance of gifts.
Sometimes I’ll do a larger gift for specific people or a little basket of spa items for the ladies and snacks for the guys. Something easy and yet fun.
Gift baskets can get pricey though by the time you have bought 5-10 different items times however many baskets you are making.
Give homemade gifts when you are able to. Homemade gifts are usually creative, fun and cost saving. Making gifts in advance (like EARLY in the month-if you can plan out that far, GOOD For you!) is SO much easier then last minute scrambling. Planning out what gifts you’ll give to who and what you can batch make early on will help to avoid holiday burnout! See the below list for easy DIY homemade gift ideas that you can do as a family.
4. Turn the work into family projects
Snowy afternoons or evenings are the perfect time to pull out a project like making gifts for family and friends or baking Christmas goodies. (Children love helping and knowing they are contributing to the festivities.)
Making homemade gifts saves money and even though it takes time, it builds memories and the children really enjoy it. Plus, the receiver will know they are getting a gift that was made with love and care.
Some practical homemade git ideas:
- Cookie mixes in glass jars
- Baked cookies and treats in for goodie bags to pass out to friends and neighbors
- Making bags of art supplies for gifts for children
- Sewing pillowcases
- Making homemade candies
- Making homemade body creams, lotions or bath bombs
- Putting together a bag or basket of kitchen items for ladies gifts
- There are many more ideas that I’m sure you can come up with!
Turn on some festive Christmas music, gather the family around, and knock off the jobs on the to-do list!
5. Go to bed on time
Getting enough hours of sleep will help your physical health so much and give you time and energy to focus on that to-do list. Setting a timer at night will help to get you to bed earlier to wind down.
Getting enough sleep is so important when things are crazy! And so is keeping your immune system up to avoid all the sick bugs that are going around!
Keeping your energy level up and staying on top of your self care routine will help your mental health during this busy time of year.
Another way to take care of yourself is to go on a brisk walk and get a breath of fresh air. It will vitalize and help your mental well-being.
6. Do something thoughtful for your neighbors
Taking a short walk across the street and delivering a plate of cookies or bags of caramel corn is a fun tradition to do with your children.
It will be a blessing to your neighbors as well as cheer yourself up! Making others happy comes back to you!
7. Do fun things as a family
Take time to sit down and read a good book together, perhaps an old family holiday favorite or classic. If you can carve out a little free time to go see some Christmas light shows or do some ice skating or something else as a family, that is a great way to build those family memories and to stay encouraged and refreshed during the often stressful time of the year.
Spend less time on social media and more time being intentional and building those family relationships.
Christmas is truly “the most wonderful time of the year” as we celebrate the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Let me know in the comments below what steps and tips you have for reducing the chaos and enjoying more of what you love during the holidays!
Don’t forget to pin this post for later so you can check back for the 7 tips!