Yes, it’s considered the “most wonderful time of the year”, but let’s face it: trying to execute the “perfect holiday experience” can be quite stressful. The long lines at the store, the endless recipes to make (OMG! I forgot cumin on the list), the constant visitors and hosting duties! When does it end?! Well, if you’re like me this year, I’m doing what I can to prepare to have a stress-free holiday, but like anything, it takes a little thought and planning to make that happen.
Waiting until the last minute to try and do everything is the perfect way to stress yourself out during this time. Take inventory of the things that absolutely have to be accomplished. Here’s an example:
Family in town for 1 day
Meal Prep – Day 1
- Breakfast – Grits, eggs, turkey sausage, OJ, coffee, & tea
- Lunch – Turkey burgers, fries, kale, pressed juices
- Dinner – Turkey meatloaf, roasted red potatoes, green beans, fruit infused water
Once you write out a plan for food, you end up with an easy list of items to shop for, leaving you less to think about.
Whatever your focus may be, pick one and execute it well, so you’re less frazzled later.
At this point if it’s not purchased or done by now, it probably won’t get purchased or bought. However, that doesn’t mean to give up! Trying to make your house a little more festive? Try cinnamon or spruce scented candles or oils. No gift purchased? Opt for baking sweet treats and wrapping in pretty paper or fill up a mason jar with the goodies and add a pretty ribbon. This is the time to think about the little touches that will make this holiday merry and bright rather than taking on huge projects.
Even though this is the season of giving to others, do yourself a favor and give back to yourself, as well. I find that no one is going to give you “me time”. Trying to take it on the fly when everything is “done” never happens. Once you start your to-do list, add in a section to get away. Sneak away to the bedroom with a glass of wine for a bit. Curl up on your favorite chaise and read a book. Add extra marshmallows to your hot cocoa. Whatever! Just don’t burn yourself out by trying to do everything for everyone. Plan and do what you can.