8 Tips for Retaining Your Holiday Sanity

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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!”
  3. 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).
  4. 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!”
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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!
  8. 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!!


11 thoughts on “8 Tips for Retaining Your Holiday Sanity

  1. These are good tips, Jessie. I especially like the idea of doing things ahead. Though I don’t make turkey, I could be more proactive about shopping and such. I’m not a Christmas Eve shopper, but I could be done a little earlier. It would give me more room to breathe.
    It’s hard to ignore the opportunity to spend time with friends when I’m on vacation. I know rest is important, but for this one time a year I havr extended time off work and I want to hang with people. It’s hard to prioritize rest and simplicity over the chaos of play dates and get togethers.

    1. I definitely understand needing to take advantage of the time off. My point is just to learn to say “no” before your busyness begins to rob you of your peace and joy. I think I personally have a higher threshold for that during the holidays, when everything seems just a little more exciting than usual. But when too many festivities become obligations that you secretly resent, it’s time to prioritize. If it’s life-giving for you, go ahead and party all day every day! 🙂

  2. Thank you Jessie! Those are some good tips to abide by. I love the scheduled day of rest. It’s what God wants us to do! Take care.

  3. Great tips!! Thank you for sharing!!
    One thing I prefer to do, even if I don’t manage it every year, is to finish Christmas shopping and get all gifts wrapped before Thanksgiving. Then, they’re ready to put under the Christmas tree as soon as it’s up, and you don’t have to dread and/or fight the holiday shopping crowds. Plus, you can relax and enjoy the season without that stress.

    1. I love this idea. I used to love the excitement of holiday crowds in December, but getting gifts bought and wrapped early really would be freeing… I might have to try it. Or at least by early December if not Thanksgiving (‘cause that ain’t happenin, lol). Thanks! 🙂

  4. Excellent tips! The one about putting REST on your calendar is fantastic because I don’t want to lie to anyone but sometimes I just need to stay home (or hubby does).
    My family already does a price limit most of the time, and many of us enjoy handmaking items for each other. I have a scarf and washcloths my sister crocheted for me in recent years. I can crochet some basic stuff, but she is much more skilled than I am.
    The hardest thing for me is that I love being with family, but the crowded gatherings stress my hubby out.

    1. I understand, Nicole! I wish I had a tip for balancing your needs with your hubby’s needs during all the festivities but I don’t. It’s definitely an art form that takes years to master, lol. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and good luck! 🙂

  5. As I began the mental ‘pushing ahead’ today toward Thanksgiving and then Christmas I came back here to touch base. The words that I’m carrying with me all season are “Reject Chaos”! (Heck, I may even get a T-shirt to that effect!) But as you said, the goal in rejecting this threatening chaos is to reach the beautiful place of JOY, with JESUS as my guide. That is something to celebrate, for sure. Thanks Jessie for such wonderful instruction!

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