It's upon us! The Holidays! Waiting until the last minute to make holiday plans can bring unnecessary stress both to you and your loved ones. So how to does one avoid that? It's not complicated, and with a little pre-planning, we can all breeze through the Holidays with more ease and a lot more joy to boot! Isn't that what it's all about anyway? Of course, it is! Here are three simple ideas to bring peace and joy to your Holidays this year.
1. Plan ahead. If you aren't a list maker, then this one may seem overly basic- but it isn't. Studies show that when we write things down (and say them out loud), we remember them better! Repetition is the mother of skill. So getting your ideas out of your head and onto the paper can help you select what you can and cannot do ahead of time. Grab a timer and set it to five minutes. Write your ideas and desires down. When the timer ends, you are finished. Swapping lists is fun for couples and friends, as lists can be shared back and forth (and tweaked)! The next day set the timer again for five minutes, and this time organize that list by most important to least important. If you have a budget, you can decide what goes and what stays. Is there anything on your list that can be delegated to free up more of your time? Ordering online, getting shipping boxes at the post office, cards, stamps, etc? Put it on the list! Sharing the list with your tribe can help you all pull together to make this Holiday more of a group effort and take the stress off you while creating stronger bonds while celebrating.
2. People pleasing. Gift's are great. I love getting them as much as I love receiving them; however, sometimes, it can feel like an obligation to get gifts for every single person you ever met. The teacher watching your kids all year- definitely deserves a gift if you are able. Everyone that you have ever met- probably not. Gift-giving is usually reserved for those who mean something to us, right? It's to show our appreciation of them- not to impress them. So this year, if they truly mean something to you and you appreciate them for being a part of your life in some way, then certainly a gift is a beautiful expression of that gratitude. Don't forget that time is also one of the most valuable gifts you can give someone as well. (Click here are some cool gift ideas).
3. To travel or not to travel. I have been on both sides of the fence on this one. I know what it's like to be on a tight budget, and I know what it's like to have a more generous budget. Speaking from my own experience, choosing one or the other is truthfully about a mindset. It can be just as much fun playing games in a friend's living room and bringing a covered dish as it can be traveling somewhere. The best advice I can give in both of these instances is to be content with little or with much. One thing being on a tight budget does effectively is to make creativity bloom. Enjoy it! I have seen substantially wealthy couples miserable from lack of creativity, and I have witnessed frugal couples filled with appreciation and joy and vise versa. Be an interesting person. Taking part in the responsibility of being fun to hang around has its rewards. A positive attitude regardless of where you find yourself this year gives energy to others while a negative complaining attitude drains yourself and those around you- so avoid complaining, the news, gossip, and all negative conversations over the Holiday. It's all about the time we set aside with loved that make the best memories. So make your count!
Summary Whatever you choose to do, decide in advance to bring joy and truly enjoy it! It's your life, and you are the creator of it. You may not always be able to control all of your circumstances, but you certainly can control how you respond to things. So, plan ahead, make your list, and get your closest friends and family involved, and decide ahead of time how much gift-giving generosity you feel comfortable with. Enjoy this special time together, stay positive, and have a blast! If you do that- the Holidays will take care of both you and those who you care about most. Happy Holidays!