Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ten Tips for the Holidays

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is almost here? It's only two weeks away. Then comes Christmas! It can be a crazy, hectic time of year. Here are some of my tips to help you get through in one piece and enjoy yourself more.

1. Make lists. I am such a list lover. Lists help me lay out what needs to be done, prioritize everything, and get to checking and crossing tasks off. You will feel so accomplished when you get everything done!
2. Plan ahead. A well-planned event is a successful one. If you have your plans laid ahead of time, nobody will be surprised and meltdowns will be avoided. Try to take care of things that can be done early on to avoid scrambling at the last minute (shopping, gift wrapping, freezing items, etc).
3. Learn to say NO. As much as you would like to, you cannot do it all. In the season of giving, it is very tempting to sign up to bring something to every event and volunteer to be on every committee. But if you stretch yourself too thin, you won't be able to do a good job on everything. Nobody wants a frazzled momma, so just know that it is okay to say no!
4. Delegate. Going along with #3, ask friends and family to help you out if you're hosting or planning. Enlist their help; they will appreciate being involved, and you will appreciate the helping hands!
5. Simplify. Less really is more when it comes to the holidays. Why waste your time on grand, over-the-top decor when simple, streamlined, festive decorations will create the mood?  

Use sites like to help make sending your holiday cards easier. Keep it simple and focus on the people around you!
6. Scale back. The past few Christmases, we have had, "small Christmases". And do you know what? They have been BETTER than the big ones! By picking out one or two inexpensive, thoughtful gifts, we are able to get away from the materialism and commercialism that has engulfed Christmas and focus on its true meaning, the birth of our Savior.
7. Make some time for you. Before you know it, every weekend has plans and you are being pulled in a million directions. Make sure to take a few minutes for yourself. Go out on a date, hang out with the girls, or take a jog solo. A happy and rejuvenated you will be able to enjoy the holidays much more than a stressed-out you.
8. Create or continue traditions. I am a stickler for tradition. My mom would do something one year, and the next I would insist that it was tradition and we had to do it again! By carrying on traditions like picking out a Christmas tree as a family, watching your favorite Christmas movies, baking special goodies, and attending church programs, you will create memories and bonds that carry through the generations. Who knows, your children may even ask you to do something you did last year!
9. Take pictures. This is one that I need to work on. (Surprising, right?!) I love taking pictures, but on the actual holidays, I only end up taking one or this one from last year. I look drunk. 
 Especially since having a baby, I am so busy making sure I know where she is and taking care of her that the camera stays in the diaper bag. Take the time to stop what you're doing and get the camera out. Among the eating, talking, visiting, game playing, and will capture some of your happiest times.
10. Be grateful. Thanksgiving is about gratitude, and we should try to keep that with us throughout the holiday season (and entire year!). Don't let the ads lead you to believe that you need this or can't be happy without that. Be grateful for what you do have and realize that it is probably more than what many others have. We are all so blessed!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Tiny Prints blogging program, making me eligible to get a $75 Tiny Prints gift certificate! For more information on how you can participate, click here

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