Obligations and traditions abound this time of year. There are parties and gatherings galore. Trust me, I understand the struggle! But before you let the holidays overwhelm you:
Consider these eight tips for retaining your sanity in the middle of all the holiday hubbub.
Follow these tips to optimize your enjoyment of the season and ensure that you have time to focus on the most important part—celebrating the gift of Jesus.
- Get the most important things on your calendar NOW. This includes your main get-togethers, any special holiday choirs or performances that you want to attend, etc.
- Make a budget for gifts and use cash. When you run out of cash, you’re out. That’ll make you think twice before getting that second gift for your mom just because “it’s sooo cute!”
- Discuss price limits with family and friends now. Just because so-and-so always spends $50 per person doesn’t mean you should. Propose something new—maybe a five or ten dollar limit. (And don’t underestimate Dollar Tree…they’ve got some good stuff, people.) Or if you’re the crafty type, propose only homemade items (cookie mixes in jars are always winners).
- Just say no. If you’re like me, you can’t be at every holiday function without stressing yourself out. Don’t feel bad declining invitations. If you need to, put “rest” on your calendar and then when people ask if you’re free, say, “I’m sorry, I’ve already got something on my calendar that evening!”
- Eat as healthily as you can. This is an easy one to let slide, but honestly—we just feel better when we eat better! Give yourself an advantage by drinking lots of water and eating your vegetables. You’ll minimize those pesky stress headaches and feel even better about your choices when you do occasionally indulge in holiday foods.
- Remember, everyone has different thresholds for busyness. Respect yours and respect others’. They may or may not do the same for you, but at least you can do your part to be aware of your needs before you’re completely frazzled.
- Simplify where you can. Yes, I know some traditions call for going all out. But cut corners where you can. This is the perfect time of year to spend a little extra (if you can) on convenience foods…prechopped onions for example. Or do what my mom has been doing for years—roast the turkey a day ahead, carve it and put it in a dish with a little broth and covered in foil, then warm it in the oven before you serve it. No huge mess right before dinner!
- Reject chaos. Cut back enough to find peace and JOY in Jesus this holiday season.
Let JOY be our goal.
Let JESUS be our guide.
And let common sense and boundaries prevent us from engaging in the chaos that threatens to steal our holidays. Have a Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas!
Feel free to drop me a comment—let me know your thoughts or let me know YOUR favorite time/sanity saving tip around the holidays! And don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t yet so you can get the latest posts delivered straight to your inbox! Thanks for reading!!