As the holidays approach, are you starting to feel stressed? While the holidays should be a time of joyous relaxation, too often they fall upon a single person to manage and organize. If you feel as though the holidays are only going to complicate your life, there are things that you can do now to improve upon them. Follow these seven tips towards a more enjoyable holiday.
1. Let go of the things that you don’t need.
Always start by getting rid of things you don’t need, such as old ornaments, or items that are sentimental but not necessarily helpful. The more clutter around you, the longer things are going to take.
This is an especially good time to go through your house for things that you might want to donate. Look at the clothing that you no longer wear, items of furniture that you don’t use, or appliances that you don’t need.
2. Keep things simple and minimalist.
Holidays have become steadily more commercial, but they really don’t have to be. Don’t focus on how much you want to spend, and don’t overextend yourself. Your friends and family should just enjoy spending time with you, and you don’t need to go overly ornate. If you find yourself burdened with things like meal plans, consider a simple pot luck instead.
3. Organize a “Secret Santa” among your family and friends.
Rather than trying to think of small gift ideas for everyone, each person will only give one gift to another member of the family. This can allow you to put more time and thought into a quality gift. Secret Santa is always a fun experience, and it means that people can get really creative about their gifts. It also means that people don’t need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a ton of unneeded gifts.
4. Make the holidays about memories.
Stuff isn’t important. Stuff fades. Remember: the holiday season should be about fun and happiness with your family and friends. Rather than packing your holidays full of gifts, consider treating everyone to an event.
Sometimes, just getting together for the holidays and enjoying a movie can be a fun time. Think about establishing some holiday traditions, such as going to a specific place (like a cabin) for a weekend.
5. Focus on comfort rather than entertainment.
Being a host doesn’t mean you need to do it all. Do you often find yourself jumping up and down trying to serve everyone? Are you always nervous that someone might be bored or unoccupied? Instead of trying to do all the entertaining, just focus on making your home comfortable. Allow people to be responsible for their own entertainment, and everyone will have a more enjoyable time.
As long as there are things to do around, and your guests are comfortable, you’re sure to have a hit.
6. Don’t be too controlling.
Whether it’s a last minute guest or a change in meals after a disaster, you can’t plan for everything. Try to let things just happen: they’re going to happen anyway, and obsessing over them isn’t going to help.
Often, we start being controlling specifically because we feel like we’re losing control. Try to be mindful of this. If someone has a last minute guest, the solution isn’t to say “No way!” The solution is to say “Of course, but that’s another guest — Can you bring a side dish or something, so we have enough food?”
7. Keep the stress low.
When you’re starting to feel stressed, it’s time to take action. Take some time to relax in a separate area, and don’t feel as though you’re responsible for entertaining your friends and family. Have a “time out” area in your house where you can go to relax, or just take a walk or go somewhere by yourself. Often, a little bit of solitude is enough to reset yourself and give you the energy you need to make it through the rest of the holidays.
The holiday season just keeps getting longer, with Halloween blending into Thanksgiving, and Thanksgiving seamlessly transitioning into Christmas. But if you don’t want to be exhausted before New Year’s Eve, you need to make sure you have a plan. The above tips can help you simplify your life, so you can make the holidays the best for yourself and your loved ones.