Hi friends! As October comes to an end,(how is that possible?) I felt the need to offer some tips and ideas to help you with now to have a more intentional and enjoyable holiday season. Want to know some secrets….come check out my secret weapons of tips for a stress free holiday!
For me, the “holidays” consists of the time period from mid October until New Year’s. Christmas Day itself for our family is a separate and sacred day of celebrating. These days I think we put way too much stress on ourselves when entering into this season. It all begins usually in October when you start making plans for your Thanksgiving festivities, then from there it takes off with all the holiday prep and activities.
So my first and biggest tips is to evaluate and eliminate what’s on your list year to year and remove some that are just too much work for you. BUT if you’re like me, you like to do all the “things” and traditions. So how do you do it?
Well….here’s the secret (and it’s not rocket science) Start EARLY…yes friends, start now. I promise you it will help to enjoy the season, be more intentional and present. As well as give you more time to actually enjoy the fruits of your labor. I mean how easy is that concept?
So we’ve already determined the real first tip is to start early. Here is what works for me:
Ya’ll it’s probably one of the items up there that stresses most people out. First, delegate this part if it’s too much for you. However, most people will be hosting some type of event at their home and preparing ahead of time will make it more enjoyable and less daunting. My biggest suggestion is plan now. Surf through Pinterest and Instagram for ideas and inspiration. Flag looks and ideas you like, but take it a step further…
Take advantage of sources most creators provide, take advantage of all the pre-holiday sales and most of all, purchase all the items AND do a practice table. After you purchase the bulk of your items, set that table, take a picture of it then find a box or bag to store all the things you’ll be using in that box. When it’s time to set the table you’re ready and better yet, you could ask for help. Just show them the picture and the box and a friend or family member can help you. Here are some past tablescape ideas you can check out.Festive Christmas Table Setting Ideas
Ok, some of you may not love me after this, but I think it’s so sad when people say they are “too busy” to send them. That’s basically saying, you’re not important enough in my time to acknowledge you. Y’all, this is the time of year when if it’s the only thing we do, it’s to send a greeting card of some type. Tell the most important people in your tribe that you are thinking about them. Isn’t what this season is about?
So try to change your thought process if you’ve let that tradition go. Start now. There are so many websites with ideas and templates. You can take an evening and peruse styles you like, favorite them or even design a few. Save them in your cart and when they have a sale place the order. Easy Peasy!
While you are waiting for that delivery, go through your mailing list and create one or update the current list. You can then enter your list and create labels. This can be time consuming so do a few each day or cut back your list. Print labels and when the cards arrive, put on your favorite Christmas movie and have the whole family stick on the labels. Super quick and easy with not much time out of your schedule.
Gifts and Gift wrap.
So let’s talk wrapping first. If you think you need supplies such as tape, ribbon, paper then each time you run to the store, grab some tape or whatever you need. You don’t need to buy it all at once and certainly if you get it now, you won’t be fighting crowds or empty shelves desperately looking for what you need. I’ll be sharing some gift wrapping ideas early in the season so you can prepare.
As far as gifts go, that depends on your family and friends and your traditions, but the same principle applies. Start early, when you see something that looks like grandma or uncle Joe, buy it. Or go to a website where you can custom create and personalize all kinds of easy gift ideas. Personalized gifts are so special to people when they see that you put thought into their gift. Things like pillows, mugs, blankets and so much more.
Another option is homemade gifts. I love making something homemade for friends and neighbors. I have a few ideas here and have so many more coming up soon SIMPLE, CREATIVE FRIEND AND NEIGHBOR GIFT IDEAS here How To Make Jalapeno Pepper Jelly or here Simple, Inexpensive & Pretty Homemade Gift wrap & card ideas-(perfect for mothers day or teacher gifts)
This can be very overwhelming if you don’t have a plan or just aren’t comfortable with decorating in general, but I think it should be the most fun. It can be if you plan and take time. Start earlier, there’s no rule, law or police to tell you when you can or can’t. Do what works for you and will bring you the most joy. Just be sure it will be a time that gives you time and enjoyment, not rushing just because it’s expected. Find a theme you really like, that can give you a better direction and make the decor in your home more cohesive and less “cluttered” feeling. Or, just find spotlight places in your home instead of feeling like you have to cover the whole house head to toe with Christmas. Again, there are tons of sources where you can get ideas and tips. I have several here and will be sharing so many over the next month. I start early to help my followers so be looking for that!
Yep, I meant to say that. At the end of this season as you are packing up all the things, keep a pen and notebook close by. Number the box and then write down all its contents. Get rid of broken or worn items or give away anything you don’t love. Once you have all your boxes pack you’ll have a nice record of all your decor and supplies so next year you won’t repeat buy something you didn’t need. Also, make note of things you know for sure you’ll need: maybe lights burnt out so you will need more, maybe you used up all the wrapping paper or ribbon? Anything you think while it’s still fresh on your mind, document it.
I also update my card list at that time. Maybe returned address cards, address changes people you need to eliminate or add. That way you’ll be way ahead of the game when next year rolls around.
Did this help you, I hope so! If want you to have a stress free and enjoyable holiday season and still be able to do all the “things” you want. Grab yourself a cute notebook and keep it with you to jot down ideas and notes. You can comparison shop prices, sales etc. Just stay organized and keep it simple. But most of all have fun and enjoy all the beautiful things this time of the year. I hope I can inspire and encourage you and I’ll be here to assist with any questions you have. Be sure to subscribe to the blog so you won’t miss any new post updates. There will probably be more than usual throughout the next few months as my creative brain unfolds with ideas to share.
Happy Decorating & Entertaining
TIPS FOR A STRESS FREE HOLIDAY