It’s crunch time, folks! We are just a few weeks away from one festive gathering after the next. Pull out the spandex because this girl is getting ready to party. As a hostess, I love to save time whenever I can. I throw three big parties during this season. They are officially mine. Christmas Eve, New Year’s Day and a huge holiday BBQ where I invite around 100 of my friends to eat some meat! It’s super fun. But for the next month or so, my house becomes party central and that means one of three things. I need to stay on top of it all, I need to make sure my guests all have a great time and I need to not lose my mind in the process. If you’d like to hold onto your sanity this holiday season, I have some tips for you that I’d like to share. LIFE SAVERS if you will.
5 Ways To Save Your Sanity This Holiday Season
Plan Ahead And Be Honest With Yourself
I am someone who loves to cook dinner. Heck, I’d even consider myself the appetizer Queen. I LOVE those two courses. HOWEVER, when it comes to dessert… I fall FLAT. I don’t know? Maybe it’s because by the time I get around to worrying about what everyone will eat after they eat… I’ve lost all my steam??? Either way, I still want to make sure that my party ends with a bang and that’s why I turn to sites that produce the results I’m looking for without any effort on my part. I’m talking HEAT and SERVE. I’m talking about opening up a box, preheating an oven, and popping my choice right in.
I have several wonderful bakeries in my neighborhood and I absolutely still make sure to have a few sweet treats from the locals whenever I entertain guests. I love to have a spread that offers up a nice variety. But I am someone that always has last minute guests popping over. Friends, dropping off things for me to borrow and then staying for 6-hours because that’s how we roll. I need desserts in my freezer and I need them readily available. I don’t always have time to make it to the bakery. And if I’m being honest with you, while prepping for a proper holiday, sometimes I just run out of hours in the day and never actually make my final round outside. That’s why I order a few AMAZING OPTIONS from Omaha Steaks. There are so many incredible options – like this pecan pie – to choose from and I encourage you to check them all out. Whether you are a chocolate lover or someone who prefers the sweetness of fruit, Omaha Steaks has you covered.
Get The Family On Board
Yes, I’m about to call out my husband and children. These people need to be told what to do. They just don’t understand that they need to help me get the house ready unless I literally tell them what to do. I know I’m not alone here. My kids cannot process that they have to clean their rooms right before we expect company. They can’t come up with that thought on their own. I have to tell them to clean their rooms before each and every party and I’ve been doing this for 13 years. It’s amazing, isn’t it? How things just don’t sink in? But you know what? I’ll never give up! They have to help because I don’t have the capacity to work a full day and then cook a full meal and then clean the rest of the house and also worry about their spaces. It wouldn’t be fair and I’m not a martyr. Join in FAM! The water is just fine.
Be sure to get your family on board as well. Even if they need a little extra push every now and then.
Get A Holiday Planner And Use It To Make Your Lists
Yesterday, I posted a free download for you to enjoy – a Holiday Planner. That planner has everything you need to get organized. Grocery shopping lists, menu creators, blank calendars, and to-do lists. Oh my! Want to know how I save my sanity every holiday season? I write down every single little thing that I need to do. I micromanage myself. How annoying! But I am someone that needs it. I don’t like to be micromanaged, but I personally need to push this way of thinking on myself in order to stay accountable for SO MUCH in quarter four.
As a blogger, you have to understand how much MORE work comes in during these months. It almost doubles. I am NOT complaining, but add that to all the extra holiday shopping and regular every day mom stuff that I have to do all year long… and you have yourself one stressed lady. I’ve been walking around with my jaw clenched. Like, I can feel it. The only way I calm down is when I literally release all my agenda onto a page. It feels like I am getting it out of my system. I write it down and it comes out of my brain and my weight lifts. Does this make sense? Then, when I see it all on paper, I can figure out how I can tackle it all. Sponsored posts, video editing, conference calls, SEO edits, Christmas plays, Chess practice, dinner – ok Thursday! I’m coming for you!
Start writing things down and if you don’t know where to begin, my holiday planner is a great place to start.
Get Rid Of The Rituals That Don’t Matter
Oooh, this might ruffle some feathers…
Ok, so there is literally only one thing I care about doing during the holidays and that’s visiting Santa at Macy’s on 34th Street. I’ve gone every single year since I was a wee child and have never missed a year with my own kids. It’s our THING. All the other stuff – the town Christmas tree, the turkey trot, the Santa brunch, the hot cocoa with Rudolph, the… I don’t know? Whatever else they throw out at us…. I really don’t CARE about. Sure, I would LIKE to go and do those things with my children, but do I NEED TO GO? The answer is no. So, if those annual rituals start feeling like they are STRESSING ME OUT, I release them. I give them back to commercialism and I take back my weekend with pride. You should do the same. You don’t have to do ALL THE THINGS just because all of Instagram is posting about it. Your kids will be just as happy making snowball cookies with you at home.
Remember What Christmas Is Really About
At the end of the day, it’s not about the presents or the eggnog or the flocked tree that all your neighbors have. It’s not about the matching sweaters or the ugly sweaters or the weekend parties or the new sequin skirt that you are just dying to wear. It’s not about the drone your son is begging for. It’s not about the perfect bow. It’s not about anything that you can find in a box.
Do not forget the reason for the season. Teach your children all about the Word and get them to Church on Christmas Eve – even if you haven’t gone in a while. Even if it’s not really your thing anymore. My family returned to the church two years ago and it was the best thing that we’ve ever done. We attend mass every Sunday together and it has brought more blessings into our lives than I could ever count. Maybe after attending on Christmas Eve it will spark you to want to return on a regular Sunday. Small steps matter. I feel like I go to therapy when I go to church. I can’t explain it. I listen to my pastor give his sermon. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I just sit and absorb it all in. Sometimes I pray for strength. Other times, I just sit there absolutely still. There’s no rush in my mind. There’s no craze. No mad dash to get to here or there. No photo to edit. No gig to complete. An hour to just sit and listen and learn and heal. It’s truly a beautiful thing.
Serve. Do good. Be kind.
And remember that this holiday is not about what they are selling us. It’s about celebrating Jesus and spending time with your family and the people that you love.
Once you let go of all the FLUFF and truly plug back into the meaning of it all, you will remember that love is what truly matters. So, take a deep breath when you are feeling overwhelmed and remind yourself of that. I’m not saying to shy away from a great deal, because we all still need to participate in our family traditions, but if you ever feel like you are losing your mind – pull back from it and remember that’s not the focus. What you are working on is secondary.
How do you handle stress during the holidays? Does Christmas overwhelm you? Do you host any of the holidays that are coming up during the next few weeks? Would love to hear!
* This is a sponsored post.