Today, we’re sharing 12 ways to ease into the holidays!
This time of year is always exciting because it feels like the week of Halloween marks the unofficial kick-off to the holiday season.
I know Christmas might seem a long way away but now is a great time to start thinking about your holiday travel and decorating plans.
Especially, since it’s such a busy time of year for everyone.
As we have shared so many times in the past, if you don’t control your calendar, your calendar will control you.
And since the time is going to pass anyway, you might as well do the things you enjoy most.
So, don’t let life fill in the blanks!
The earlier you start planning, the less stressful the holiday season will be.
Here’s a look at 12 Ways to Ease into the Holidays…
Create a Holiday Theme and Color Palette:
My number one tip for making the holidays less stressful is to start planning your holiday theme and color palette.
Now is a great time to shop the holiday and Christmas sections of big box craft stores, home decor stores, and boutiques.
That way, you can get first dibs on everything from ornaments to garlands to trees!
I know it can be overwhelming sometimes because everything is so pretty and well-curated. It’s easy to get distracted by shiny things.
Set yourself up for success by having a plan before you shop!
Knowing your color palette and theme in advance will help you stay focused on how you want your home to look this holiday season.
Get in the Holiday Mood:
One of the easiest ways to ease into the holidays is by getting in the spirit of the season!
- Spend some time combing through magazines, blogs, and searching Pinterest for inspiration
- Shop local boutiques, cookie tours, and holiday open houses for fresh ideas
- Watch your favorite holiday movies
- Make a gingerbread house
- Turn up your favorite Christmas CD, put on a record, or ask Alexa to play “Holiday Favorites”
- Sip a gingerbread latte or a salted caramel mocha
These things might seem like small things. But they’ll work together to get you in the holiday spirit.
Begin Crafting Ornaments and Seasonal Decorations:
Once you know your theme and color palette it will be much easier to craft ornaments and seasonal holiday decorations.
I know most people are basically in two camps when it comes to putting up the tree Christmas tree.
You either like to have your tree up by the first of November so you can enjoy it as long as possible.
Or you like to decorate the tree on Thanksgiving weekend.
No matter what camp you’re in, crafting seasonal decorations in advance, like these vintage-inspired air-dry clay ornaments, will help make sure everything is at the ready once you’ve picked out the perfect tree.
Start Making and Shopping for Presents Now:
Making and buying presents for the holidays can get really expensive really quickly.
To keep your Christmas cheer intact this season, consider these helpful tips…
- Make a list of the people you want and need to buy gifts for
- Don’t be afraid to ask people if they want anything special or specific, it will save you so much time
- Create a budget of how much you plan to spend before you shop
- Take note of coupons and discount codes related to the items or the stores on your list
- Keep an envelope in your purse or a folder in your inbox to easily access tracking numbers and receipts
Once you start bringing gifts home, create a wrapping station and wrap as you go!
That way, 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:
Ease into the holidays by taking the time to check out your local Chamber of Commerce to find out what seasonal events will be offered in your area.
Then start planning a holiday bucket list filled with adventures.
- See a holiday movie, musical, or show at your local theater
- Ride around the neighborhood looking at lights or visit one of the 45 Best Christmas Towns in the US
- Go on a holiday home or cookie tour
- Visit a craft bazaar, outdoor extravaganza, or an antique fair
- Attend cooking, baking, decorating, or wreath-making classes
- Learn to make a seasonal signature drink
- Cut your own Christmas tree
Keep in mind a lot of events will require tickets and additional planning. So, make sure you book in advance!
Decide Now Where You’ll be Spending Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s:
Now is a great time to get with your family and decide where you’ll be spending the holidays. That way, everyone is on the same page.
Remember to include your pets in your travel plans and preparations. Especially, if they need to be boarded or will require a plane ticket.
Keep in mind, as neighborhood parties, home tours, holiday activities, recitals, and choir engagements get in full swing, our calendars will start filling up fast.
Talking with your family now will help ensure you get to experience the things you treasure most. Even if you’ll be celebrating the holidays in a different state or new location.
Clean Out Closets, Prepare Guest Rooms and Create a Cleaning Schedule:
One of the easiest ways to ease into the holidays is to start cleaning and prepping your home.
Clear out items in guestroom closets you no longer need, and give your guestrooms a refresh.
Be sure to fill linen closets and bathroom cabinets with essentials.
Create a gift basket for your guests to make them feel welcome.
You don’t have to go all out but a little creativity and thoughtfulness go a long way when you’re hosting.
Prepping frequently used guest spaces in advance will allow you to spend quality time with your friends and family once they arrive.
It will make your guests feel more comfortable too!
Make or Pick Out Your Christmas Cards or Have Your Family Photographs Taken Early:
Ease into the holidays by sending cards to reconnect with family and friends.
One of my girlfriends sends us an “adventure holiday card” and it’s always fun to see what continents she’s visited each year.
Now is a great time to be creative and make, or buy your Christmas cards.
It’s also a good time to have your family photographs taken since everyone will be celebrating the holidays together!
Start Gathering Updated Address Information for Family and Friends:
While you’re picking out your holiday cards, take a few extra minutes to update the addresses of friends and family.
You’ll likely be seeing them over the next few weeks anyway.
Ease Into the Holidays by Meal Planning and Trying Out New Recipes in Advance of Parties and Events:
We follow a meal plan each month but especially during the busy holiday season.
It really helps cut down on decision fatigue each night and forgetting ingredients at the grocery store as well.
In addition, it also saves time when we’re expected to be at multiple events during the workweek.
Ease into the holidays by taking a few weekends to make or prep freezer meals in advance and by trying out new recipes you want to make for parties and house guests.
Practice Mindful Eating and Continue Exercising:
I know this might not seem like it should make the 12 ways to ease into the holidays list, but hear me out.
If you continue to practice healthy eating and exercising habits now you’ll be that much further ahead when January 1st rolls around and you start making New Year’s Resolutions.
Plus, exercising is a great stress reliever.
And let’s face it, as exciting as this time of year can be, it can also be stressful. So, make sure to take extra special care of yourself.
Ease Into the Holidays by Deciding Now How You’ll Give Back:
There are so many ways to ease into the holidays by giving back!
You can serve people in the soup line, surprise your neighbors with random acts of kindness, or even volunteer at your local pet shelter.
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!
We hope these 12 ways to ease into the holidays have helped you feel a bit more organized. Let us know what you’re looking forward to most! Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.