The Holidays are officially in full swing! We are bombarded with sales, lists, parties, decorations, traveling, shopping, cooking, entertaining, you name it. OH JOY! While “it’s the best time of the year!”, it can also be the most overwhelming time of the year too. So The Write Dose has put together a Girl’s Guide To Surviving The Holiday Season. We have listed helpful tips to get through the holiday season by decluttering your mind and your environment so you can maintain your zen and enjoy your festivities to the fullest!
1) Utilize the “1 in, 1 out” Rule
Whether you’re taking advantage of the sales to spruce up your own wardrobe, or receiving many new items as gifts, you’re going to have to make room in your closet for your new duds. If you get a nice, new shiny pair of black boots, toss the old scuffed ones you’ve been hoarding. You don’t need doubles, and you know which pair you’re going to actually get the most use out of. New winter coat? Try donating the old one if it’s still in good shape. This is a great time of year to give back and donate to those less fortunate.
2) Shop with a game plan
Make a list and check it twice. You don’t have to shop for everyone and their mother. It can be a burden on your wallet and cause unnecessary stress when most of the time it is not expected. Focus on the children and people you know will be buying for you. If that’s still a lot, tell friends and family that you don’t need anything this year and would be happy just spending quality time. Also, consider putting together several small gift packs with maybe a candle and sweet treat just to show you’re thinking of them without having to spend a lot. When you’re ready to tackle the list, make sure you map out your route and know which stores you want to hit, bring your coupons, and save your receipts. A little prep before heading out can go a long way and save you from a lot of anxiety and overspending.
3) Don’t overcommit
Holiday parties are supposed to be fun, but can be draining if you promise to attend every single work party, ugly sweater party, bar crawl, kids party, pajama party, and feast you’re so graciously invited to. Choose wisely and don’t be afraid to say no. It’s naughty to ignore the RSVP altogether, so be nice and respectfully decline. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with all the holiday cheer, don’t be afraid to tune out and just stay home with some hot cocoa, watching movies, and recharge. You won’t be much fun anyways if you only show up because you feel obligated.
4) Decorate with purpose
Whether you’re just starting your holiday décor collection, or you’ve already got bins of stuff, the decorations quickly start to feel like clutter, so it’s important to put away some of your normal home décor and temporarily replace it with the holiday stuff. If you’d like to put stuff on the mantle, clear the mantle first instead of just adding more stuff to it. Several research studies have proven that surrounding yourself in a cluttered environment can result in a cluttered mind. Keep it simple and embrace minimalism. Only put out the stuff that has meaning or brings joy to you when you see it. If you’re still building up your collection, only purchase a few things each year; don’t feel pressured to go from 0 to 100 real quick. Also, it helps tremendously to store your things in an organized manner. Bins with labels are best, and always neatly roll up the lights, you’ll be very glad you did when you go to take them out again each year.
5) Don’t be afraid to treat yourself
Nothing cures the winter blues like some retail therapy. Take no shame in buying for yourself in moderation. As long as you’re not blowing your budget splurging on items you think you can’t live without, there’s nothing wrong with keeping morale up with a few small purchases here and there for yourself. Just remember it’s the season of giving!
6) Travel light
One word to describe holiday travel: chaos. Be prepared for canceled flights, bad weather, long lines, cranky children, lost luggage, etc. Try to only travel with a carry-on. Wear your big coat on the plane to stay warm and save space in your luggage. Then you don’t have to worry about wasting more time at baggage claim wondering if your bags have made it. Also, don’t take up precious cargo space trying to travel with gifts. Ship them in advance. Most of your gifts can most likely be bought off of Amazon, so you can easily cut out the middleman (yourself) by shipping directly to the recipient. People enjoy opening up exciting packages just the same as wrapped gifts, but if you love wrapping paper, ship a roll to where you’re going and tackle it as soon as you get there!
7) Use Amazon Wishlist
Speaking of Amazon, embrace the wishlist feature! If you’re tired of playing the fake smile game when you open up another gift that you immediately decide will be returned, then take out the guesswork and create a wishlist by adding items in affordable price ranges and sharing it. Encourage others to utilize this feature as well to simplify the process of having the “what do you want this year” conversation with each family member, then having to search, order, ship, wrap, go to post office, ship again. Just have Amazon ship it directly to the recipient and check off the “This is a Gift” box when checking out to include a message of whom it’s from. It’s 2017, so let’s get on board with making life easier! I especially love wishlist when buying for other people’s children because I can just go on and see exactly what they want. I have no clue what kids are into these days or what’s already in their toy box, so I find something in my budget and have it shipped directly from the North Pole and I feel assured that they will actually use it without ever stepping foot into a giant, loud, germy toy store!
8) Designate a closet
So you took down some of your normal décor and shopped til you dropped, and you got out the wrapping paper, the party platters and everything else you need to get through the holiday season, and suddenly it feels like the walls are closing in on you. It’s time to designate a closet/corner/space to put all this stuff. If you’re trying to hide presents from someone you live with, especially curious children, you may have to get creative, but it helps to keep things organized along the way. Have your wrapping supplies set up in a certain area, put away extraneous items, make room in the fridge for leftovers, and clean up as you go to avoid piling up and causing any unnecessary anxiety. Don’t lose sight of the goal here, which is to enjoy the process of giving and being with loved ones.
9) Entertain with help
If you find yourself hosting a holiday event, don’t be shy about asking people to bring things. A good guest will usually offer anyways. Consider hosting a potluck and have everyone bring a dish, a beverage, or supplies. Of course, you’re still burdened with setting up and cleaning up, but it can be a huge weight lifted off your shoulders if you don’t have to worry about cooking several dishes for a ton of people while simultaneously getting yourself and your home ready. Not to mention buying food and drinks for that many people can be expensive. Most guests will be glad to help and delight in the comradery of coming together to create a wonderful holiday party.
In the end, making the most of your time, effort, and budget can be stressful around the holidays, but it doesn’t have to be. Just make sure you’re taking care of yourself and try to take the initiative to make every step of your festivities the best it can be. All it takes is just a little bit of thinking ahead and organization along the way. Seeing your loved ones faces light up and hearing them ask how you managed to get it all done can make everything worth it, but taking the year off and playing Grinch can be just as rewarding! It’s important to just be grateful and remember why we do all this in the first place and really stop and take it all in because it will be over before we know it, and then all the sudden we’re counting down until the holidays again next year!
Published by Kaitlyn Pattock
Edited by Brittany Priore
Photo source ELLE