There’s so much to do around the holiday season that it’s easy to get overwhelmed and stressed out. But if you plan ahead and keep yourself organized you can have a relaxing and enjoyable holiday season. Here are a few tips for enjoying a stress-free Christmas
Plan for the Holidays Early
Start thinking about Christmas early and start planning in November.
- If you have kids, book babysitters as early as you can. Think about events you’ll be attending but also plan to hire a sitter for a few hours on days where you want to go grocery shopping or Christmas shopping. Leaving the kids at home when you’re trying to get your shopping done will ensure that you stay focused and organized.
- Plan your holiday recipes early. Make a master list of ingredients and figure out what items you’ll need to buy. Cross-reference your list with items you already have. People often buy things like spices because they can’t remember if they have them or not. That’s how you end up with four containers of cinnamon or cumin! Remember also to pick up frozen hors d’oeuvres and finger foods. They’re a lifesaver when unexpected guests drop by.
- Do inventory of dishes and food storage containers to see if there’s anything you think you might need. Either purchase what’s missing, or speak to a friend or neighbor to see if there’s anything you can borrow or share.
- Make a gift list as early as possible. Think about all the people in your life you want to buy for and try to have an idea of what you want to get them – but don’t stop there. Be prepared to buy a few extra, small items for unexpected guests and last-minute hostess gifts. Also, remember to get something small for the mailman, paperboy, and anyone else who makes your life a little easier throughout the year.
Have a Decorating Party
Decorating the house for Christmas can be great fun, but it can also be a lot of work. Minimize the stress by hosting a holiday decorating party. Serve simple appetizers or make it a hot chocolate party. Have plenty of Christmas music and lots of sweet treats on hand. Having friends and family come over to decorate is a great way to save time and relax while catching up with loved ones. If you like to decorate early, have this party in early December. You’ll enjoy your holiday decor for a long time, and it’s likely that more people will be able to come help you earlier in the month before all the holiday parties get underway.
Cook and Bake Holiday Treats Ahead of Time
If there’s any food that can be made ahead and frozen, do so. Appetizers, casseroles, and desserts can be made a couple of weeks ahead of time and put them in the freezer. This will save you tons of time and stress as the holiday gets closer.
Clean Out for Christmas
- Remember to put away some of your everyday accessories to make room for holiday decor. If you decorate a mantel for Christmas, pack away the items that normally reside there. If you don’t put a few things away your home will become unbearably cluttered.
- Pull out the Christmas linens such as tablecloths, placemats and napkins and give them a wash and iron, or treat yourself to a professional dry cleaning. Pull out the pretty soaps and guest towels and put them out on display.
- Clean out the front closet and make room for guest’s coats and boots.
There are tons of things that can be done ahead of time to ensure a relaxed and stress-free Christmas. The best thing to do is plan ahead and don’t leave things to the last minute.