The holiday season is one of the best times of the year. After a long, difficult 12 months, now is the time to sit back and reflect on all the good — and bad — moments you’ve experienced. It’s a time for loved ones, as well as for reveling in the small joys of life, from family and food to catching up with friends and some much-needed vacation days.
Unfortunately, it can also be incredibly stressful. After all, there is so much to do and so few days to do it all. Rather than getting an opportunity to relax, you may just feel like this is the season for more and more stress.
But it doesn’t have to be like that. Naturally, some emotions will surface more strongly during this period, and it’s almost impossible to get through New Year’s without any drama.
If you just take care of a few of the smaller things, however, everything will be a bit easier. With that in mind, the following three simple tips will help ensure you stay a bit more organized — and a bit saner — this holiday season.
1. Holiday Shopping
Gifts are a big part of the holiday experience, no matter what celebrations you enjoy. So, if you’re buying gifts, don’t delay. Procrastination is the norm, and it ultimately kind of corrupts the spirit of giving. If you’re stressed out and only purchasing things out of a sense of obligation, that defeats the purpose.
So, even though time is tight and you always have a million other things on your plate, do your best to get moving on your gift buying as soon as possible. Who knows? It may make you enjoy the process a bit more and keep you from pulling out your hair in those final hectic weeks.
2. Holiday Cards
Holiday cards are a tradition that really represents the spirit of the season. Even more than giving an expensive gift, a card comes from the heart and lets the recipient know you care. It sends the message that, even though you may not talk as much as you used to, the recipient isn’t an afterthought. Along with some information about what the last year has brought, everybody loves to see a photo.
This can show how much the kids have grown, for example, and just gives your loved ones something to have as a keepsake of your relationship. Best of all, these days, ordering holiday photo cards couldn’t be easier. Just upload an image you adore, add a design element or two, and include some personalized text before sending them out.
3. Holiday Decorations
By now, hopefully, you have a box tucked away full of all the decorations, lights and other festive items you typically bust out for the holiday season. Retrieving them if they are stored under 30 other boxes in the attic is, of course, a whole other story.
Still, try to pick a day you know won’t be too busy to unpack them all and put them out. This could end up taking multiple days if you really like to go wild. But, be sure to set aside some time now to at least get started before your schedule gets overwhelmed with other commitments.
Simplifying the Season
Congratulations! You’ve made it through another year. Now you get to enjoy yourself a little bit before the calendar flips over and you get back to the grind of January.
To maximize the experience and get the most out of the holiday season, it pays to be organized. So, be sure to get that to-do list in order by starting on your gift buying, planning your holiday cards, and setting aside time to set up your decorations.
Nobody loves all the little errands and tasks associated with this time of year. But they’re ultimately part of the whole experience and, after you get them checked off, you’ll be glad you did. Because once you get these smaller things taken care of, your calendar — and your mind — will be free to focus on all the fun and festivities.