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 it might seem a long way away but now is a great time to start thinking about your holiday travel and decorating plans. Especially, given it’s such a busy time of year, you know?
As we frequently share if you don’t control your calendar, you calendar is going to control you. So, the earlier we all start planning, the less stressful the holiday season will actually be.
Here are things to keep in mind and 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 first.
I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to shop the Christmas and holiday sections at big box stores lately, but they have some beautiful things out right now.
That said, all those pretty trees, ornaments, garlands and tableware can be overwhelming if you don’t have a plan in mind before you shop.
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.
Get in the Holiday Mood
One of the easiest ways to ease into the holidays is by getting in the spirit!
- Spend some time combing through magazines, blogs, searching Pinterest
- Window shop for seasonal ideas
- Watch your favorite holiday movie
- Make a gingerbread house
- Turn up your favorite Christmas CD
- Drink a gingerbread latte or a salted caramel mocha
These things might seem like small things but they’ll all work together to get you in the holiday mood.
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, like these vintage inspired ornaments, in advance will set you up for success when time come to pick out the perfect tree.
Start Making and Shopping for Presents Early
Making and buying presents for the holidays can get really expensive really quickly.
To help keep your sanity this season, stick to these 3 things…
- Make a list of the people you want to buy gifts for
- Create a budget of how much you plan to spend in advance before you shop
- Stick to your plan
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
Take some time to check out your local chamber of commerce to see what seasonal events will be offered in your area.
Then start planning a holiday bucket list filled with adventures. For example:
- See a movie, musical or a show at a holiday dinner 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 tour
- Visit a craft bazaar, outdoor extravaganza or an antique fair
- Attend cooking classes or cookie decorating classes
- Learn to make a seasonal signature drink
- Chop down your own Christmas tree
Keep in mind a lot of events will require tickets or 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.
It’s a busy time of year for everyone. As office parties, home tours and holiday activities get in full swing, our calendars will start filling up fast. So, make sure the things you want to do most are on the list!
Save yourself future stress and talk to your family and friends about your plans now so everyone is on the same page. This includes making travel plans and preparations for your pets too!
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.
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.
That said, you’ll want to make them feel welcome. So, start cleaning and clearing things out of the closets, stock the linen closets and prepare the guest rooms now.
Prepping those spaces in advance, will allow you to spend quality time with your friends and family 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 to either make or pick out your Christmas cards. It’s also a good time to have your family photographs taken since everyone will be celebrating together!
Start Gathering Family and Friends Addresses
While you’re picking out your holiday cards, take a few extra minutes to update the addresses of friends and family. Especially, since you’ll likely be seeing them over the next few weeks.
Meal Plan and Try Out New Recipes in Advance of Holiday Parties
We meal plan each week but especially during the busy holiday season. It really helps cut down on forgetting ingredients at the grocery store and decision fatigue each night.
In addition, it also saves time when we’re expected to be at multiple events during the workweek.
Take a few weekends to prep by making freezer meals in advance and by trying out new recipes you plan to make for parties or 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 before you think I’m a total total buzz kill, ok?
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 and you start making New Year’s Resolutions.
Plus, excising is a great stress reliever and as exciting as this time of year can be, it can also be stressful!
Decide How You’ll Give Back
There are so many ways to give back during this season of giving.
You can do anything 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!
We hope these 12 ways to ease into the holidays has 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.