Monday, December 12, 2011

5 tips to survive the holidays: guest post from Andrea

My sweet blog friend Andrea (that blogs here) put together this amazing list of ways to have a stress free holiday season.  Thanks for the great tips!
Five Tips to Survive the Holidays

The holidays can get crazy. Shopping can get crazy. Lists can get crazy. Deadlines, Christmas Eve, Christmas Tree, church, family plans. It all adds up and can get the best of the most organized, to-do list in hand, put together woman. I put together a few tips to maybe cut down on some of the chaos.

#1  Don't let stress get the best of you. Making sure you spend exactly $25 on each sibling, instead of $30 on one and $20 on another is a waste of your mental energy. Get each person a gift that is meaningful for them. Set a budget, and don't go over it. No one wants to be paying for Christmas in January (or February, or March...) Also - make lists. Its much easier to figure out what you need or what you need to get done when you have it all on paper. And nothing feels better than scratching off the last thing on your list.

#2 Hold on to some traditions. There will be things that you will have to give up. When I was growing up, as an only child, my mom would always let me open one present the night before Christmas. Later on, my family would always open presents on Christmas Eve. My husband's family always did their's Christmas morning. My mom also bought me a new ornament every year for our tree. Now that we have our own family, we have to decide which of those to keep, and which ones to toss. It's okay to stop doing some traditions, to keep some, and it's fun to add some new ones. This year, we are going to combine traditions. Lucy will get to open her stocking on Christmas Eve, and the rest of hers on Christmas morning. And I'm buying her a new ornament every year.

#3 Don't worry if your tree is too small. The first 2 Christmases my husband and I got live Christmas trees. Then we got a cat. After a cat-tree-flying-squirell-broken-ornament's fiasco, we opted for the much easier option of, decorate a fake palm we already had. The cat was already used to it, and the fireplace hole was plugged. So for the next 5 years, we had that as our Christmas tree. Since we have no more cats in the house, I decided that we should have a tree. I want Lucy to remember us always putting it up and having ornaments and stuff.

#4 Enjoy your family. In all of the hustle and bustle of shopping, decorating, and cooking, it's easy to be preoccupied with getting things ready for people in your family. Instead, try to take at least 10 minutes out of every hour - and spend it on the people, instead of things for them. That will mean much more to them in the long run, way more than a casserole or a DVD. We are blessed beyond measure, so treasure the people we have been given.

#5 Burn candles that smell like pie. I mean, who doesn't want their house to smell like pie? And it saves you from having to eat half a pecan pie once the in-laws and grandparents have gone back home!

I hope you all have a very blessed stress-free Christmas and an awesome new year!

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