There are always a million more things you can add to the holidays, but why make more holiday stress? How about some ideas of things you can CUT so that you stress less?
1. Meal Planning/Food Prep
Along with planning and prepping ahead, you could also take advantage of kids-eat-free days and other coupons at restaurants and just eat out or carryout a little more often.
I know this is more feasible for some families than others depending on how many of you there are, but with deals like Restaurant.com you can play your cards right to get up to 88% off certificates to use at some of your favorite local restaurants! (Just make sure you pay attention to the minimum purchase threshold or any restrictions for each certificate value.)
If you really enjoy using fine china for your holiday meals, it’s all good, but what about for the rest of November and/or December when you don’t need that added chore?
You can also cut down on dishes permanently by having your family use water bottles. We only use glasses when we drink something other than water, which isn’t too often.
Ideally you can actually get rid of some stuff in advance, but if you don’t see that happening, go ahead and clean off all your
impromptu storage spaces flat surfaces, box up the random junk, and stick it in a closet or the garage or something. Just remember you did it in case you wind up missing something important.
Who knows, after a few weeks you might realize you could really just drop the boxes off at your local secondhand store and jump-start a new minimalist lifestyle 🙂
4. Grocery Shopping
Since you’re planning ahead for your meals (and/or eating out a little more), there’s no reason you can’t shop ahead, too. Crowded stores aren’t really the place most of us want to be on purpose at this time of year.
If you find that you’re running out of something, there’s a good chance you can order it online and have it shipped to you, which just might be worth your time and gas savings.
5. Holiday Cards
You can either do these ahead of time, change the time of year you send out cards, or ditch them altogether (although I still like getting family pictures, so I wouldn’t push too hard for the last option 😉 ).
6. Hanging Lights
7. Your Own Agenda
Make a conscious choice to forgive, get rid of any bitterness, and go into the holiday season with an attitude of flexibility.
If you’re not holding tightly to your own “right” for things to look and be a certain way, and if you’re on the lookout for any tendencies for yourself to get offended, you can circumvent a whole lot of stress right there.
Just let it go.
It’s easy to heap guilt on yourself and receive guilt from others for all the things you could be doing better. You don’t need that.
If you have a mission statement for your holiday season, you can refer back to that and remind yourself that things don’t need to be “perfect” to be good.
Above all, if/when those thoughts or words come, remember that nudges from God come along with solutions and don’t make you feel like a loser – those other thoughts and feelings come from the enemy of your peace and you don’t need to give him the time of day.