Regardless of whether you are staying at home or going away for the holidays, an important thing to remember is that it’s a time for calm and relaxation. If you are having the family over for the holidays, a little planning will ensure you are not running errands and busy in the kitchen all day… unless that’s your thing of course.
There’s a good reason the holidays are referred to as the silly season. People get caught up in the last minute rush and end up having to fight queues and endure Christmas carols on repeat in every mall and grocery store.
Let’s change up the pace in your household this year with some holiday hacks that will save your sanity, and let you experience the true pleasure of the festive season.
If you’re going away, ensure tickets and accommodation are booked in advance and you have a list of things you’ll need for your vacation. This will make packing a breeze and cut out the stress of a last minute dash to the stores.
If you are staying home and have the family coming, give Santa a hand and work out who’s been naughty or nice. How many mouths there will be to feed? If they’re sleeping over, consider sleeping arrangements. If you need to factor in additional sleeping space, clever furniture like daybeds and trundle beds offer convenient alternatives. Check out WellWorthLiving for some sleep solving tips and tricks to help ease your load.
Don’t Take On Too Much
Know your limits and accept that the holiday will still be a wonderful success without the mince pies or new towels for the guest bathroom. If you have been tasked with the Christmas roast, order one ready made or pass the responsibility onto another family member. There’s no medal at the end of the holidays for the person who worked the hardest, so don’t spread yourself too thin.
Rather say no, or look for a shortcut. Enjoying the day should be your primary goal and there’s no point in getting to the end of the festivities exhausted and needing a holiday from your holiday.
Stock Your Fridge Early
We’ve already touched on store madness. Late shoppers not only come fully loaded with urgency and mild panic, they often don’t find what they’re looking for. Stores don’t want extra Christmas stock left over after the day has passed, so items can run out.
By picking up what you need a week or two early, you don’t need to wrestle for parking or loose time relaxing with your family. Stock up on other items too, like snacks and treats for the days following Christmas when store hours are limited. A cozy hot chocolate before bed, and cookies after dinner, will add to those warm, happy feelings of being together and create lasting memories.
Plan Activities And Entertainment
Both before and after Christmas day, there will be periods of down time. By filling up the time with activities, you will avoid getting bored. Especially for kids, plan entertaining activities like board games. Swing ball or corn hole in the back yard will keep them busy and give you time to relax, or do whatever it is that needs doing.
For grandparents, show them how to use the TV or give them a list of nearby places of interest that they can visit and enjoy a coffee and cake.
Buy And Wrap Gifts Ahead Of Time
When buying gifts, pick up an extra item or two just in case someone needs a quick filler. It’s better to be overprepared than feel like someone missed out.
You can truly be present when your attention is not focused on completing a shopping list. Better yet, make everyone’s lives a little easier by only getting gifts for the kids. This way, the Christmas budget is significantly reduced and you don’t have to worry about picking out something that Aunty Jen won’t use anyway.
Ask For Help
A little delegation goes a long way in lightening your load. It also has the added benefit of making contributors feel useful and appreciated. For children, small tasks like decorating the Christmas tree are not only fun, but give them purpose and pride.
Asking for a little help is not a failing on your part, it’s not a one man show. Christmas is a family effort, so get everyone involved.
Create A Space Just For You
If it all gets a bit much and you need a little time to hear your own thoughts, create a space where you can retreat to and just breath. It could be a bedroom, or even a long, luxurious bath where you can close the door and switch off for a while.
If the house is not the ideal environment to find peace or you are away in a new location, taking a walk is one of the best ways to work those stress hormones out of your system, as well as to burn off some of those Christmas calories.
Reflect And Show Gratitude
Christmas is not about presents and creating an Instagram worthy photo opportunity. If you have taken the time away with a partner, reflect on the precious time together and soak up the pleasure and joy of being in a special location.
For those spending time with family, put aside the annoyance of silly habits that come with family, and be grateful that you get to spend the time together. Life can change so fast, these special moments are the ones we can hold onto long after grandparent have passed. It may be a long time before you get to spend the same quality time with friends and family so tell them that you love them and hug them that second longer.