Christmas is supposed to be a time for gratitude, joy, and bonding with loved ones, but that can easily be marred due to the hustle and bustle of modern life. It is easy for the holidays to become overwhelming when there is so much to do, like decorating the front porch, cooking, and so on, struggling with what to start first. This is further proven by the American Psychological Association, which says 41% of US adults report feeling increased stress at this time of the year. With a few changes, however, you can simplify the holiday season and have an enjoyable one. Below are four ways to simplify the holiday season.
- Mindful planning and prioritizing
Mindful planning is necessary if you want to avoid the usual pressures associated with the festive season. Start by preparing a realistic schedule that enhances your participation in planned activities and moments of relaxation. With mindful planning, you can prioritize important family traditions and events that add meaning to the festive season. That way, you can let go of less essential activities that drain your energy and waste your time. Consider creating a shared family calendar that allows everyone to be on the same page regarding planned activities.
Also, avoid overcommitting to unplanned Christmas invitations. Surveys revealed that many accept these invitations to avoid disappointing friends and family. However, it would help if you learned how to say no when necessary so you can focus on what matters most.
- Avoid overdoing your home Christmas decor
A Forbes report indicates that about 96 million American families put up a Christmas tree to commemorate the season. Of this number, 19% use real trees, while the rest rely on the best artificial Christmas trees. It’s all about finding what works best for you. Many households report feeling stressed about deciding on the right decor for these trees. Others are compelled to purchase more decorative tree elements to suit a chosen theme for the festivities. You can avoid all this by opting for simple decor and rather concentrating on bonding with family. Some artificial trees do not require any ornaments and are excellent options for anyone looking to simplify their Christmas decor.
- Streamline gift-giving
Christmas time is a season of giving, but that can also get too stressful at some point. You must think about the people you want to gift, the type of present, wrapping, and so on. They seem like little activities, but when put together, they can quickly become arduous. Moreover, the stress on your budget can make gift-giving a lot of hard work. One way to streamline this is to focus on experiences rather than store-bought gifts. Inviting loved ones over for dinner or Christmas lunch is a gift in itself.
Some households encourage gift exchanges, but that can be stressful because of the pressure it places on you to give a gift at all costs. You can choose to give homemade treats, which mean so much more because of the effort put into them. Doing this helps you ease the financial burden that store-bought gifts often present. There is nothing wrong with opting out of gift-giving this Christmas, as long as you don’t feel guilty for making that decision.
- Embrace the power of saying no
The first point mentioned how important it is to say n at this time of the year to help you prioritize activities and simplify the holiday season. Christmas often comes with several invitations, be it for parties, get-togethers, events, and so on. However, recognizing your limits during the festive season is vital to avoid unnecessary stress and feeling overwhelmed as you have to be in many places at a go. Although you may feel bad initially for turning people down, it will be worth it in the long run, giving you time to savor the moments you enjoy most. You can skip invitations or certain activities to allow you to have more rest and rejuvenate your mind and body. By setting healthy boundaries, you can have more meaningful connections that align with your priorities for the season. You can start to practice how to politely decline the flood of invitations likely to come your way this festive season. The secret is to project respect in your tone when declining the invitation but still sound appreciative of the invitation.
A simplified holiday season is worth your time and energy but can sometimes be challenging to achieve. However, you can try the above tips this Christmas to see how that works for you.