Happy Halloween! I know today is going to be a busy day for a lot of you. An “epic day for candy” according to one of the littles. I’m actually kind of scared for their parents because they’re so excited ha ha. We spent some time together as a family yesterday and they were already bummed they actually had to eat dinner before going out to trick or treat. I can’t wait to see them all dressed up.
In the spirit of Halloween and all things scary I thought I would share 12 Ways to Ease into the Holidays. I could have shown you our garage, hello nightmare, but the idea that Thanksgiving is 24 days away and Christmas is 54 days away seemed much more relatable.
Anyway, today is a great day to start thinking about holiday plans. It’s such a busy time of year the earlier we start planning the less stressful the season will be. Here are things to keep in mind and 12 Ways to Ease into the Holidays…
Create a Holiday Theme and Color Palette – you guys knew this was coming, right? It’s my number one tip for making the holidays less stressful. Have you been to the big box stores lately? Oh my word, the pretty stuff is overwhelming! Knowing your color palette and theme in advance will help you to stay focused on how you want your home to look this holiday season. I’ll be doing a “Heaven and Nature Sing” theme this year so expect lots of white, layers of texture, nature inspired elements like magnolias, cedar, moss, pine cones, farm animals and buffalo check accents. This was our “winter wonderland” theme for the patio last year.
Get in the Holiday Mood – spend some time combing through magazines, reading blogs and searching Pinterest for seasonal ideas. Watch your favorite holiday movie and turn up your favorite Christmas CD. Drink a gingerbread latte or a salted caramel mocha. They may seem like small things but they’ll all work together to get you in the spirit!
Begin Crafting Ornaments and Seasonal Decorations – once you know your theme and color palette this will be much easier. I know a lot of people like to decorate and pick out a tree the weekend of Thanksgiving which is why crafting seasonal decorations will set you up for success when time comes.
Start Shopping for Presents Early – buying for the holidays can get really expensive really quick. Make a list of the people you want to buy gifts for, create a budget of how much you’re able to spend and stick to it. Wrap as you go, so you’re not stressed out on Christmas Eve in Santa’s Workshop at midnight trying to get it all done.
Make Plans for Holiday Adventures – check out your local chamber of commerce to see what seasonal events will be offered in your area. It could be anything from the opera, to the dinner theater, to riding around the neighborhood looking at lights, to holiday home tours, craft bazars or cooking classes. A lot of events will require tickets so make sure you book in advance.
Decide Now Where You’ll be Spending Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s – now is the time to get with your family and decide where you’ll be spending the holidays. It’s a busy time of year for everyone and as office parties and home tours get in full swing the calendar starts filling up fast. Save yourself future stress and talk to your family and friends about your plans. This includes making travel plans and preparations for your pets too.
Clean Out Closets and Prepare Guest Rooms – Obviously if people are coming to visit they want to spend time with you and don’t care in the least if there’s a lone dust bunny in the corner of the guest room. At the same time, you want to make them feel welcome if you’re the host so start clearing things out now so that you’ll be able to spend quality time together instead of fretting over the state of your linen closet.
Make or Pick Out Your Christmas Cards or Have Your Family Photographs Taken Early – Sending holiday cards and pictures is a fun way to reconnect with family and friends. One of my girlfriends sends us a card of her adventures and it’s always fun to see what continents she’s visited each year. This is a great time of year to be creative and make someone’s day.
Start Gathering Family and Friends Addresses – now is a great time to update the addresses of friends and family especially since you’ll likely be seeing a lot of them over the next few weeks.
Meal Plan and Try Out New Recipes in Advance of Holiday Parties – we try to meal plan each week especially during the busy holiday season. It really helps cut down on forgetting ingredients at the grocery store and save time when we’re expected to be at multiple events during the workweek. It’s a great time to create make meals to put in the freezer and try new recipes prior to hosting a party or guests.
Practice Mindful Eating and Continue Exercising – I know, right, total buzz kill! I’m not saying not to indulge a little bit, I’m saying if you continue to practice healthy eating and exercising habits now you’ll be that much further ahead when January 1st rolls around.
Decide How You’ll Give Back – this is a busy time of year for holiday volunteering. There are so many ways to give back during this season of giving. You can do everything from serving folks in the soup line to offering random acts of kindness to strangers. Most people assume the holidays are a joyous time for everyone when in truth they can be really tough for many. If you have been blessed in big ways or small ways this year, give what you can, I promise your heart will feel instantly lighter this season.