Happy Holidays to You and Yours!
We want to take this opportunity to offer a sincere, “Thank You!” to all of you. It has been an amazing year, and we are excited for this time of year spent in celebration with friends and family!
While this time of year can be exciting and heart-warming, it can also be stressful at times. In this article, we are sharing 5 helpful tips and strategies to make this year’s holiday season enjoyable for the entire family. We hope that these ideas will provide inspiration for you to simplify and remain focused on what is most important to you and your family.
This article is written by Shari Medini
For more on this topic, check out the full Happy Holidays collection
Don’t Overschedule During the Holidays
There are literally hundreds of fun activities to pick from during the holiday season. There are work events, school events, and community events… not to mention all of the family functions! If you are not careful, you could end up filling up every single free moment in your calendar. And while each event sounds really fun on its own, you will all be too tired to really enjoy the experience when that day comes.
And even worse, by the time the big celebrations roll around, you are totally burn out and can’t truly enjoy it. We shouldn’t spend our holiday season counting down the days until it’s over! Instead, schedule in do-nothing-days where you and your family just get to relax and unwind in between the other festivities.
Since most of us already have a lot of stuff cluttering up our homes, gifting experiences is often appreciated. And the added bonus is that it can save you a lot of time as well!
When you give someone a thoughtful gift certificate for something that you know they’ll enjoy, you don’t have to worry about shopping for, wrapping, and transporting lots of items for all of those holiday parties! You’ll be able to give thoughtful and helpful gifts without as much of the work.
Some great ideas for gifting experiences include the following: family passes to museums, zoos, etc; season passes to the local pool or amusement park; gift cards to play places like laser tag, arcades, indoor play areas; certificates to classics/lessons in sports, music, art, or other interests.
[ Read: Gifting Experiences (instead of toys) ]
Communicate with Loved Ones
If you are feeling stressed, there is a good chance that you are not the only one feeling that way. Friends and family may also be feeling the pressure to do things a certain way to maintain traditions or to keep up appearances, but we can’t do it all. Sometimes scaling back on holiday get-togethers can actually make them more enjoyable.
Who says that you can’t have a pizza party as a holiday party? Or a brunch in pajamas? Or skip the gift exchange?
There really aren’t any rules! Talk with those around you and keep in the mind that the whole point of getting together is to be able to reconnect and enjoy each other’s company. Anything that makes that more difficult can be changed.
[ Watch: Taking the Pressure Off this Holiday Season ]
Minimize Work Stress
No, the world doesn’t stop altogether during the holidays. Business doesn’t come to a screeching halt during this season. Many tend to slow down, while others actually face their busiest season! But… regardless of your situation, you can still take steps to minimize the stress of work during the holiday season.
Work Ahead – This, of course, is easier said than done; but the payoff can be worth it! Working ahead does mean that you’ll need to double down in the months leading up to the holiday season in order to plan ahead, but it will be worth it to have some downtime with family and friends. You may even consider taking some of your vacation days over the holidays to spend time with your kids while they are also on winter break. This downtime will allow you to come back feeling refreshed and inspired!
Set Boundaries – Even if your work schedule needs to stay the same as always throughout the holidays, you can be careful to protect certain moments with your loved ones. Carve out a few hours here or there to really disconnect from work and tune into your family. Turn off notifications, set email auto-replies, and set clear boundaries of when you are out and when you’ll be available again.
[ Read: Simplify Your Holidays ]
Get Back to Basics
Talk with your family and figure out what you all truly want out of this holiday season, and then make sure that that happens. Take the time to write it down and remind yourself of it often. Doing this will help you when you’re making millions of little decisions because you will be able to look at each decision more objectively.
If your goal is to simply enjoy time together as a family, then maybe the stress of 3 parties in a row will actually take away from that enjoyment instead of adding to it.
[ Read: Dialing it Back to Basics ]
You are in Control
Don’t forget that you’re the captain of the ship. You make the decisions. You get to choose what will work best for your family. Even if that means saying “no” to things you’ve always done.
What would you add to this list? What tips and strategies do you have for making the holiday season more enjoyable for your family? What changes have you made that turned out for the better? We’d love to hear from you, and…
Co-Owner: Shari Medini
Shari Medini is the co-owner of the parenting website Adore Them. Her prior experience includes working as a marketing strategist and writer on multi-million dollar capital campaigns, website designs, advertising campaigns, and book launches. Shari’s parenting articles have been published in dozens of publications; and she enjoys doing various speaking engagements. When she’s not on her laptop, Shari can be found spending quality time with her husband and two sons exploring their hometown of Lancaster County, PA