Our Five Best Tips to Tame the Holiday Crazy

 

 

tons of great ideas to get organized so you can enjoy the holidays
 

We were so excited when we received the invitation to guest host along with Jennifer from Dimples & Tangles, Kris from Driven by Decor, Lisa from Shine Your Light, and Pam from Simple Details  their monthly “5 Tips” series.  With this month’s theme being “5 Tips to Tame the Holiday Crazy” sharing tips to lessen stress at the holidays is right up our alley.  Be sure to visit their blogs as well, these talented ladies have some great ideas to help you enjoy the holidays without losing your mind.

So yes, now that Halloween is behind us, it’s time to start thinking about the holidays! With 8 weeks and counting, now is the perfect time to get organized so you can be ahead of the game this year. That way when late December rolls around, everything will be done and all you have to do is just relax and enjoy, right? Right! 🙂 In actuality, as we know, those of us who carry the full holiday burden often head right into the holidays too stressed and tired to truly enjoy them, I hope these tips will help you avoid that this year.

 

GET ORGANIZED

In fact, I hated feeling the “holiday overwhelm’ so much that last year I designed a Holiday Planner to help me get a grip on everything I needed to do. I found that if I spent few minutes in advance of the holidays figuring out what needed to happen, then setting up a timeline to actually get it done, things suddenly all of a sudden felt less overwhelming. Like anyone, I rarely accomplish everything perfectly as planned, but I have found that knocking out as much as I can get done ahead of time truly does help me feel relaxed at the holidays.

 

 

You can order your own Holiday Planner HERE {there is both a printable/digital version you can receive immediately via email or a pretty printed version which comes in a few days via mail, more about these products is available HERE}, or of course you can sit down and create your own lists with just a pad of paper. I really believe the important thing is to start making a plan. You will feel less overwhelmed and know that even if you get off track, you can always refer back to what you need to do and get going again.

 

 

The contents page (above) in the planner will serve as a comprehensive thought-starter guide for your own lists, but the most important things to get planned out are gifts, events and a general ‘things to do’ list. If you can get those thoughts written down in one place it will give you a great resource to follow over the coming weeks.

START GIFT SHOPPING

Probably the hardest part of the holidays is getting all the gift shopping done. Not only can it be a budget buster but all the shopping, ordering and simply deciding what to buy easily gets overwhelming. Not to mention, the fear of forgetting someone, buying a gift they won’t like or that something won’t being in stock closer to the holidays all contribute to stress. This is why my second tip is to create a master list of who you need to buy for and what you want to buy them. Then slowly begin ordering a few gifts a week, this helps break up the cost and ensures that hot gifts won’t sell out before you get them.

One of my favorites resources any time of year but especially at the holidays is Amazon Prime (you can start a free trial HERE to get you through the holidays, which you can cancel if don’t want to use it after), to save on all the shipping costs. Another favorite resource is our annual Gifts from ETSY guide which allows you to purchase from small businesses, many of which are handcrafted, for gifts that are truly special and unique.

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SET UP A WRAPPING STATION

My third tip is to prepare your wrapping supplies ahead of time, it is just an easy way to save stress at the last minute. Start picking up rolls of wrapping paper, ribbon and tape–make that lots and lots of tape– ahead of time and you’ll be glad you did later. Also, if you can, assemble wrapping, gift bags, ribbons, tape, scissors together in one spot into a wrapping station. Wrapping a few gifts at a time and then hiding them in a dedicated spot will help you get ahead, and save {most} of that last minute wrapping. Another trick is that I always order a set of printed holiday labels, usually for less than $10, from Jane.com that I can just stick on our family gifts, they look cute and it makes marking gifts simple.

 


 

PLAN AHEAD

 

My other tips discussed planning ahead for the specifics like gifts and wrapping, but in a more general sense spending a few minutes looking at your calendar for things that really need to be done early will save you headaches later. If you are sending holiday cards, schedule your pictures, plan your outfits and purchase stamps. The planner has a list to compile card recipients, this is also helpful as once done, you can just pull out year after year. If you plan to travel, make your plans now before prices skyrocket and arrange to ship gifts directly if possible (again Amazon is a great resource!). If you host a holiday gathering, plan your party, order or design digital invites and think about all the other stressors that come up at the last minute–like outfits for parties or concerts {You can find some easy outfit ideas in this post and this post.}. Finally, plan for holiday baking by adding essentials like sugar, sprinkles, hot chocolate to your shopping list and maybe even make a few freezer meals to get you through the crazy nights that lead up to the holidays. These are all simple tasks but not procrastinating them will free up your time later.

 

DECORATIONS

Decorating is definitely one of my favorite parts of the holidays, so usually I can’t wait to get to it. Despite the ongoing debate of when is too early to decorate (I say never!), getting ahead on your decorating is not really a bad idea. For many years I have tried to buy one new ‘big’ decoration each year–be it a new {faux} tree, stockings, or a pretty wreath to build upon our collection. If that blows your budget, filling your decor in with dollar store ornaments is perfectly acceptable.  Even better, call a few friends and head to a Christmas market or local bazaar to find some unique handmade items that you will keep for years. Most of all, find a way to enjoy the decorating process and try not to be overwhelmed in an attempt to have Pinterest-worthy home.

To help get your decorating process started, our gift to you is our free Holiday Decor Planner worksheet, which you can download by just clicking the button below.

Click Here for your FREE Holiday Decor Planner Worksheet

One final tip–be sure to plan in time to actually enjoy the holidays, because honestly, it may not actually happen if you don’t schedule it in!  Turn on the Hallmark channel, light a holiday candle and maybe even delve into the Christmas cookies–the season is meant to be savored, after all!

Thank you so much, ladies, for inviting us to participate in this series! I truly hope that some of these tips help those of us who truly make the holidays ‘happen’ for our families also find the time to appreciate the beauty and true meaning of the season.

Please visit the other hostesses to see all their tips for “Avoiding the Holiday Crazy” below~

Jennifer from Dimples and Tangles

Pam from Simple Details

Lisa from Shine Your Light

Kris from Driven by Decor

XO,

 

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Comments

  1. You two are the greatest organizers! Great tips!!!

  2. AMY YOU ARE SPEAKING MY LANGUAGE WITH ALL THESE GREAT HOLIDAY ORGANIZATION IDEAS! I LOVE YOUR PLANNER…….TO HAVE EVERYTHING ALL IN ONE SPOT IS SO SMART! I AM MAKING A CONSCIOUS EFFORT TO TAKE THE TIME NOW TO PREPARE FOR THE HOLIDAYS SO I CAN AVOID THAT OVERWHELM THAT ALWAYS CREEPS IN AS THE MOM AND THE DOER OF ALL THE THINGS 🙂 THANKS SO MUCH FOR JOINING US TODAY WITH ALL THESE FANTASTIC IDEAS! XO

  3. amy, love all your tips and the reminder to enjoy the season ( organized or not)

  4. AMy, love all the tips you shared. I do think planning ahead is key. And having a set place for everything, the organization part as well. The past few years we have started decorating early, and I love that other than our live tree, we get to enjoy it all the entire month instead of racing to get it up only to take it right back down.

  5. Love the planner idea!!!! Thank you ladies!

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