While the holiday season should be about gratitude, peace, and time with family and friends, sometimes it can get the best of us. Deal shopping, endless marketing, countless holiday parties, and rushed holiday travel can knock us off our feet. But with a few simple steps this holiday season you can take back the reigns.
Simplify your Holiday Season and Reduce Stress with these Minimalist Tips:
1. Create a holiday budget: List who you’ll be buying gifts for and how much you can afford to spend. This way you won’t go shopping clueless. Do some research to find out how much your potential gifts will cost. Make cuts where need be.
2. Set up a holiday wrapping center: Choose a part of the house to wrap presents in so that the entire house isn’t disheveled throughout December. If you’re sending holiday cards, write your cards in the same room.
3. Cut back on kid gifts: Give the kids one meaningful, thoughtful gift rather than five smaller less important gifts.
4. Draw names for family gifts: If you have a couple of siblings, the costs can add up in no time. Consider drawing names from a hat for holiday gifts. The same is true for your office. Why not buy one gift that you think your office mate will actually like rather than a few less thoughtful gifts?
5. Give homemade gifts: I’ve gotten some of the most adorable homemade gifts over the years and they’re the ones I remember the most. Last year my friend gave me homemade pimento cheese in a mason jar–such a cute idea. Make the holidays your own with a signature homemade gift.
6. Host a cookie decorating party: My group of friends have a holiday cookie decorating party instead of exchanging gifts. Everyone makes a batch of sugar cookies and we all decorate them together. It’s a great reason to get together, sip on some vino, and enjoy each other’s company. And you get to take home some sugar cookie loot.
7. Create a paperless holiday card: It’s simpler than paper cards and so much more environmentally friendly.
8. Reuse gift wrap: Be careful opening presents so that you can reuse the wrap. Save any holiday gift bags that you receive. An entire portion of my closet is devoted to reused wrapping paper so I never have to kill a tree in the name of presentation.
9. Learn to say no: If you’re invited to a slew of holiday parties, don’t feel bad for saying no. Wouldn’t you rather enjoy a few of them than feel overwhelmed and bogged down having to attend too many? It’s okay to say no once in a while–your time is valuable.
10. Avoid travel: See family and friends during less hectic parts of the year. My husband and I stayed home for Christmas last year and I hate to admit it was one of the more relaxing holidays we’ve had. At the very least, if you’re married, simplify your holiday but not visiting both sets of parents.
11. Host a potluck: Instead of an over-the-top holiday party, have your friends over for a potluck. That way you don’t have to cook an entire meal because each guest will be playing a part.