We haven’t had a really good, hearty Christmas around here in a long time. Everett’s birthday is at the end of November, so the year he was born was a “get by and survive” kind of Christmas. I actually don’t remember much of it at all – I was probably too sleep-deprived!
Last Christmas wasn’t much better, because I was dealing with post-partum anxiety, so once again, the girls were disappointed by my lack of Christmas spirit. Many of our little family traditions were put aside for the second Christmas in a row.
Happily, I’m feeling much more my usual self, and excited to celebrate Christmas with all the little things that make it special for our family. I’m ready to party.
I am NOT ready to get all stressed out and overwhelmed by Christmas craziness, however, so I’ve come up with a plan. It’s my easy way of making sure the important stuff gets done, and the special things don’t pile up until I’m cramming for Christmas like a college student the night before a big exam.
Here’s what I did to remove the stress from Christmas:
1) Make a list of all the Christmas to-do’s.
I tried to write down everything last thing I could think of, like how many kinds of cookies we’ll make, buying envelopes for Christmas cards, ordering gifts online, whatever else all needs to be done.
2) Count how many weeks there are until Christmas, and make a plan about what to do when.
I was able to think deliberately about which items need to get done first, which tasks are quick, and which ones will take a little more time. I was able to make a plan for how much I want to get done in a week, and if I can stick to my plan, we’ll get ready in time, and I’m hoping to feel less stress, and more enjoyment.
My task for this last week was to order our Christmas pictures, and make sure our address list was up to date. It’s my least favorite Christmas chore, and it’s done already! I’m quite excited.
It’s such a simple tip, it hardly seems worth mentioning, but it took me 16 years to figure it out, so maybe someone else out there can benefit from it! If you want to take it a few steps further, Marcia Ramsland writes about holidays in her book, Simplify Your Life. When she realized that Halloween and Christmas are always eight weeks apart every single year, unlike Thanksgiving which changes every year, she came up with a schedule she follows year after year. Her book is full of really great, practical ideas, and is one of the few organizing books that has made it through numerous rounds of decluttering – I keep coming back to it again and again!
With a restful, organized Christmas on my mind, I was also interested to come across Tsh Oxenreider’s post: 5 (Sane) Ways to Prep Now for the Holidays.
There seem to be endless ideas for Christmas organization on Pinterest, which overwhelms me, but this Christmas planner seemed like it could be a good fit for what I’m looking for.
I’m also thinking these books would be interesting to check out: A Chic and Simple Christmas: Celebrate the Holiday Season With Ease and Grace or A Simple Christmas: Celebrate the Old-Fashioned Way in a Post-Modern World.
Please share! I want to hear all of your tips for how to keep things simple, organized, and as stress-free as possible at Christmas!
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2 thoughts on “One Simple Way to Remove Stress at Christmas”
I cook my turkey ahead (slightly underdone), add a bit of Campbell’s Chicken Broth, and re-heat in a stone baker (that I can serve in too), the day off. This means I can make my gravy ahead too. I serve it in a coffee thermos (that has never had coffee in it), warm the thermos with HOT water, pour out, add hot gravy, and it stays piping HOT for hours.