Are you feeling the stress of the holidays? Depression, anxiety, and stress levels rise during the months of November and December and understandably so! In our global age, we see allllll the things we “should” be doing or buying, making it difficult to intentionally create meaningful holidays.
We feel like we need to furnish our homes with the entire Christmas collection from Target, Fill our days and nights with Pinterest crafts, fun and photo-worthy outings, have a perfectly decorated tree, and gift vacations.
In short, we feel like the entire season should be big and magical.
But really, Christmas started in the most simple of ways with a tiny baby lying in a bed of straw in a stable, surrounded only by his family and a few lowly animals.
This year, I have been feeling the pull to re-evaluate the way I view the holidays and create simpler, more meaningful traditions that focus on my Savior Jesus Christ and the people I love the most. Maybe you’re feeling the same way?
I invite you to spend some time thinking about what the holidays mean to you and developing a plan that will make this season meaningful for you and your family.
To help with this, I’ve put together some tips and resources from around the web. I’ll start with some helpful tips, and if you keep scrolling you’ll find links to resources as well.
Along with the resources below, I think one of the most important things we can do to make the holiday season more meaningful is look for ways we can serve others. This Christmas, join me in finding small and simple ways to serve at home, and to serve others individually and as a family.
We hope you find some of these ideas helpful, and wish you a happy and peaceful holiday season!
I love the idea from Ralphie of Simply On Purpose of giving “gifts of togetherness.” Spending simple time together with the people we love most is truly one of the best gifts we can give.Celeste, ThereIsLifeAfterWheat.com
Make a list of holiday events and traditions that your family likes to do every year, like decorating gingerbread houses, taking pics with Santa, holiday movie night with hot chocolate, etc. Then print out a blank calendar and fill in when you’re going to do what. Keep it on the fridge so you can remember to do the fun and meaningful things too!Kylie, HowToMom.com
Making every day and small activities a special event of their own balances out the holidays. We don’t tend to think of eating dinner together as a family as a special event but in our modern culture it most certainly is!Tessa, HomesteadLady.com
Seemingly small things like bedtime books, after school snacks and weekend hikes take little time when calculated against the sum total of the hours we rack up during each day. However, over a the span of a child’s life, the value of such ‘little’ things grows exponentially – one small snowflake can start an avalanche, after all!
No activity is too insignificant, no moment is too frivolous to spend, if it creates relationships of trust and shared experience within our family.
Part of the reason the holidays can cause so much stress is because of the rush and the absurd amount of money that is spent. We have all been there, realizing we have spent too much money on toys that our kids really don’t need.Myrtle, DIYwithmyGuy.com
Spend less money and put in more thought of what gifts your family will value. Be more intentional about what you are giving your children.
You’ll be a better, happier mom when you prioritize break time. Whatever that means to you – taking a solo daily walk, squeezing in a kid-free shopping session, or paying for a sitter so you can have date night. These moments aren’t luxuries – they’re necessities.Mary, HealthyChristianHome.com
Planning ahead can make the holiday season so much more enjoyable. Once you get the busy work out of the way and have a plan you can spend more time enjoying the season.Lisa, TheStressFreeChristmas.com
Pick a done-by date for all of your shopping and prepping and cooking. Remember to eat green things and stay hydrated. But most importantly, enjoy!Katie, HeyNutritionLady.com
Avoid committing to too many events. Having a busy schedule can add to the stress. It’s okay to turn down a holiday party and spend a night in.Alexis, ThatFitFam.com
The number one thing I do to reduce holiday stress is getting things out of my head and onto paper. I keep a notebook of things I need to do, clean, buy, etc. Once I’ve written it down, I can be present in whatever I’m doing and not have a zillion things competing in my brain trying to be remembered.Melissa, PolishedHabitat.com
I have found that the best way to avoid stress and enjoy a relaxed holiday is to get some planning and preparations done early. And as much as I use my phone for grocery lists and appointments, I find a printable planner works best for keeping me organized.Lynn, NourishAndNestle.com
If you are on a small budget and stress about all the gifts you have to buy, remind yourself it’s ok not to buy someone an expensive gift, even if you know they will gift you something worth a lot more. It truly is the thought that counts, so find something meaningful and don’t be ashamed to give it. It’s up to the other person to receive it kindly or not.Liz, BlueAndHazel.com
Most people stress over going into debt over the holidays. Don’t wait until November or December to find the cash for gifts. Instead, make saving for the holidays something you do year-round. Try some simple money saving challenges or download some money-making apps to earn free gift cards.Ophelia, ACentsationalLife