Simplicity in the Holiday Hubbub

I love the holiday season – at least, in theory I do.
Unfortunately as a (mostly) functional adult and parent, it can seem more overwhelming than joyful.
So many things to do, places to go, friends to see, gifts to wrap, grocery shopping trips to survive at Costco of all places.
I thought I’d share a few tips on how I’m finding some peace and joy again in the midst of the craziness.
You’re in the midst of it, but it’s not too late to reclaim the holiday joy. Here are my top tips to thrive instead of just survive.

1 – Pick and choose your activities carefully.
There will literally be an endless number of options available to you this season. Purposefully decide what you will and will not go to. If it steals your joy, don’t go.
You are not required to spend time with anyone who makes you feel less than, just         because it’s the holidays. You are also not obligated to say Yes just because someone invites you. If all we ever did was say Yes to everything we are offered, we’d die of exhaustion.

2 –  Be Strategic!
You will save yourself a ton of stress if you lump together errands and trips to the store on one day with some festive music and a tasty coffee or tea in hand.
Do your Christmas wrapping while shamelessly watching all the cliche holiday movies on Netflix –  I highly suggest The Spirit of Christmas, if you haven’t already indulged.
Pick just 1 or 2 tasty treats to make in bulk for gifts to your kid teachers, neighbors, and the get togethers you are attending . There are lots of other ways, but have a plan, it will be worth it in time and stress saved.

3 – Keep the season as simple as possible.
You know you will be assisting, making, and eating a lot of calorie rich, indulgent foods over the season. Moderation is of course a wonderful thing, but in the likely chance that you’ll over-indulge, be proactive and keep your own home stocked with healthy, easy to cook and eat foods. That way most of the time, you’ll be eating reasonably.
The season won’t be less memorable because you didn’t have the perfectly coordinated family outfit for your photos, or you didn’t get cards out this year, or you forgot to order those adorable pajamas for everyone. The time together, being engaged and present without fretting over the details, allows for connection and real memories to be made.
And for heavens sake, snap 1 or 2 cute pics, and set the phone down! No one wants to look back at pics without you in them. Instagram and Facebook can wait until the day after.

4 – Make home a place to recharge and cozy up.
What this looks like for each person will be different. Decorate a little or a lot, but be mindful of how you feel while doing it. Are you stressed, or are you enjoying the process? Is doing crafts with your kids something you mutually enjoy, or something you feel obligated to push through because you saw this cute thing on Pinterest?
Make it a place you want to come home to after a day of trying to get every item on your shopping list, while also not getting run down in the Costco parking lot. For me, that looks like cozy blankets on the couch to snuggle under, a fire roaring if it’s even a little chilly, and hot tea or apple cider in my favorite ” Let That Sh*t Go” oversized coffee mug.
I also love the smells of the holidays, cinnamon and spices, trees and oranges; I like to have a healthy soy candle or an essential oil diffuser going throughout the day.
( It also helps the kids transition through the after school stress with less meltdowns! )

I’m always looking to bring more joy to the season. Pass on a smile, pay for a coffee for the person behind you, let the crazy guy at Costco have the parking spot that’s 2 closer than the other one. How are you going to create more joy and pass it along this season?

Much love –
Sarah

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