We are officially in the midst of the holiday season. I don’t know if that’s a “Yay!” or a “Oh my God, I can’t do it this year.” I don’t know. That’s really up to you and like I said, you can do you this year. You can make the holidays super big, you can make them super minimal and easy to you. It’s up to you.
However, that does not mean that the mention of it being holiday season is not stress inducing on some levels for you because, first of all, this year has been the longest year of all years and we all have our ultimate share of stress on our plates and we are still homeschooling and working from home and cooking 55,000 meals a day. All of that is still happening. So, really, I don’t know about y’all, but I want to coast the rest of this year out stress-free. I’ve had enough stress to fill a lifetime this year.
But, in order to make this holiday season a lot less stressful, there’s a few things that we need to do. I know. It’s like, “I don’t want to do another thing!” But I promise you, these things are going to help you enjoy your holidays.
Number One – Plan ahead. Plan ahead to help destress your holiday. If there is any holiday year to plan ahead, it is this year because it is not going to be easy to do any less minute shopping, any last minute running around, any last minute anything this holiday season. The mail is going to be slow, deliveries are going to be high. Don’t wait until the last minute. Don’t do it. It’s not going to work this year. Plan ahead.
Go ahead and get those holiday lists from your children so you know what your kids want for their Christmas list, their Hanukkah list, Ramadan, whatever it is that you are celebrating. Go ahead and get those lists from those kids so that you can think ahead for shopping. Think about your holiday meals, the decorations you want in the house and go ahead and take care of those things so that you can use the delivery service so you can get things sent in the mail ahead of time and you don’t have to worry about it getting late because it’s going to be crazy. I can’t emphasize that enough.
And when you are getting those Christmas gifts, doing that grocery shopping, shop online. Just make it easier on yourself. Half of us are in another lockdown anyway and you can’t just run to the store or the mall at the last minute and grab whatever you want or need. There are shortages. Do your shopping ahead of time to help destress your holiday. Plan ahead for what your needs are going to be and get those things in your home. Now, I cannot stress this enough. Don’t set yourself up for it being the week before Christmas and you don’t have anything ready. Talk about stress. That’s got to be stressful. Utilize online shopping. There are so many delivery services now. Some of them are a little expensive, some of them there are no fees if you’re going to spend a certain amount on groceries. Shop online. You don’t have to lug your children to the store with you or stress out about exposing yourself. Just shop online. It makes it a whole lot easier.
Now if you’re anything like me, you probably lay your head down at whatever hour you go to bed which is probably much later than you should and as soon as you lay your head on that pillow, your brain starts going, “Oh you got to do this. Oh you forgot this. Oh you didn’t buy this.”
Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding.
Write a list down. Write it down. Write it down because I know how my brain works and there’s a million things going on all at the same time. I’m having several conversations in my head and it doesn’t always necessarily translate from here into actual action. So I keep lists everywhere to help destress the holidays. Keep a book by your bed so that when your head starts going late at night, you could just write it down. Once it’s written down, it’s out of your brain and you have something to refer to to check your crazy thoughts that you had right at bedtime and to actually pull the things that you need to do off of that list.
Sometimes when you’re in the middle of doing your work from home, some things pop into your head. Instead of stressing out about what you did and didn’t do, just write it down so that you can deal with it later. Keeping lists has been a godsend for me. Whether you do it on post-it lists that you just do it all over the place – if y’all saw how many post-its are on my laptop just to remind me of the things that I need to do. It works for me. Keep a notebook. I’m sure if you’re like me also, you have a million notebooks all over your house that are not being used and are perfectly usable. Get a notebook. Write things down. Keep those lists.
The other thing. You don’t have to create all this magic yourself. Uh-uh. As we know this year, everybody has to be on board so bring your family into the mix. Call on your husband to help with the decorations if he doesn’t do that already or be in charge of wrapping the gifts or hiding the gifts. Maybe you have a husband that can be in charge of a holiday meal. I don’t know. Little changes like this can really help destress your holiday season.
Pass it off. A spouse, a partner, your children. Give them the chores that you need help with. Sweeping the floors. I don’t know about you but I don’t know how my floors get dirty like they do. I mean, I know everybody is home everyday but I cannot comprehend the need to sweep on a daily basis. I’m handing that chore off. It’s not going to be my chore. The constant dishes. Involve your children. Anyone living in your house, bring them on board. This does not all have to be on you. You do not have to make all the magic, everything happen on your own. Even the little toddlers, they can help. You can give them a clean up song and help them help clean up too. Everybody needs to be in the mix and on board with what is going on.
Another thing. Say no. Just say no to things that are too much. If the school wants you to organize an online, virtual holiday party for the class on the last day of school.
“Sorry, I’m unavailable. I have a work project due that week.”
“Sorry, I’m not available to volunteer for that.”
Someone’s having a crazy holiday party in the midst of all of this or your family expects you to come and show up and bring all your kids.
“Oh, I’m sorry. My daughter has a slight problem with asthma. We really don’t want to take that risk.”
“Oh, my husband can’t be exposed because of his job.”
“Oh, my wife is not really wanting to take that risk.”
Blame somebody else in your family, but say no and destress your holiday season. Say no to the crazy. You don’t need any more stress on your plate. Just say no. N-o is only two letters. Use it. I know it’s easier said than done, trust me. I know this, but just say no. Just say no. And on the idea of saying no, keep it simple. Keep it super simple this year. I don’t know if you need to have a conversation with your kids and let them know that we’re going to keep it simple this year or maybe simple for you is just overdoing it with the presents because that keeps everybody happier and you think that your family needs that right now, that’s fine. Whatever your simple is, keep it simple.
I am ordering a turkey this year. My husband literally gasped when I told him that because if y’all know me, my rule is everything is from scratch on Thanksgiving because I’m a Southern girl and I just adore cooking for the holidays and it’s all from scratch. I even make ice cream from scratch, people. But this year, it’s being super simplified. Super simplified. I ordered a smoked turkey, the pie crust being the frozen pie crust. I just – I don’t know that I have it in me to give the holidays all that I usually do.
So, those are my tips for you. Keep this holiday super low on the stress. Just coast the rest of the year out. We all deserve that. Enjoy the actual purpose of holidays and really feel the joy this season. Focus on the joy. Don’t make it stressful. Don’t do it. It’s not worth it. We have been through enough stress to last us the next 10 years.
I hope those tips help. Even if you just do one or two of those, it will make a difference. I do have to recommend the planning, though. Just plan ahead, just by a little bit. Get those shopping lists. Shop on Black Friday, Cyber Monday. Be done with it because it’s going to be crazy this year. You’re not going to be able to run to the mall at the last minute, people. Don’t do it to yourself. I’m just saying.
I love you, mamas! I hope you enjoy this holiday season and can destress your holiday as possible. You deserve that.
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