When the holiday season fast approaches, no matter if you’re a solid planner or tend to wing it, this time of year can be hectic and stressful for many people. Sure, the season is full of merriment and fun.
However, the preparations can add a lot of undue stress to anything else life may already be throwing at you. To alleviate some of your worries, this practical guide can be instrumental in helping you get ahead of the busy holiday season.
Here are five practical tips to keep in mind.
1. Set Your Budget
To avoid overspending during the holidays, strategize and set a budget for yourself well in advance. Your detailed plan should include all costs related to hosting, gifting, food, decorations, holiday cards, and more. You can even create a savings account exclusively for your holiday spending. Knowing how much you’ve saved — and how much you plan to spend — will help you keep your financial overwhelm in check.
2. Plan Ahead and Make Lists
A well-thought-out plan for the holidays can help you keep stress and overwhelm at bay. To that end, create lists of who you plan to buy gifts for and what you plan to give them. Go through your holiday decorations and make a list of what you want to buy. You’re bound to find tons of inspiration online for Christmas gift ideas, decorations, menus, and recipes. Buy your gifts and decorations early, as prices are likely to increase as the holiday season fast approaches. If you don’t have the time to visit a retail store, use online shopping to your advantage. And, as you buy your gifts, start wrapping them, too, as this can help save time and decrease stress levels.
3. Order Holiday Cards
Although Christmas may seem far away, it’s never too early to get a jump on your holiday cards. If you plan to send out photo cards, early November is a good time to place your order. So, book your photographer and get your family picture taken sometime in October. Once your photo is ready, use Minted’s photo Christmas cards to design and print them easily. Just upload the photo to their website to visualize customized card designs that match your aesthetic. They offer different card sizes and a variety of printing options like letterpress, foil-pressed, or vellum overlay. Save even more time by leveraging their free recipient addressing service that prints the addresses of your recipients on envelopes.
4. Declutter Your Home
It’s no secret that a clutter-free space can help you to focus better and keep anxiety at bay. In particular, there are a few ways you can clean and declutter your home to prepare for the holidays. First, clean out your rooms and closets, and keep only the items that you actually need and/or will use; you can donate the rest. You can also take them to a consignment store and exchange them for store credit. Use it to buy gifts for your loved ones. Additionally, remember to clean out your pantry and refrigerator, and donate any non-perishable items that you don’t plan to use.
5. Get a Jump on Baking/Cooking
If you plan to host a holiday party or meal, make sure to plan your menu well in advance. You should also think about the desserts or dishes you can make ahead of time and freeze. Doing so will save you considerable time and effort when things start to get chaotic as the holidays draw closer. For example, cookie dough is something you can make and freeze for later use.
Cheers to a Happy and Stress-Free Holiday Season
However you decide to plan for and welcome the holiday season, remember to prioritize your mental health and well-being over all else. Carve out some time for self-care so you don’t get burnt out with all the holiday planning. And, make sure to follow the above tips for a happy and stress-free holiday with your loved ones!
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