Another holiday season is upon us! As soon as the calendar turns to November, this mama is preparing to deck the halls and binge watch holiday movies. Like most moms, I’m also gearing up for a stressful season of shopping and planning in an effort to create that magic for my kids. So in the spirit of giving, I’m sharing my tips for keeping your sanity during the holidays.
Shopping for gifts can often feel like the biggest hurdle of the holiday season. Instead of procrastinating and then panic shopping for that last-minute gift, get started now! Start by compiling a list of who you need to shop for and budget accordingly. For individuals who receive multiple gifts (think children and spouses) don’t be afraid to keep it simple. My rule of thumb is to pick one or two gifts from the following categories:
- Something they need
- Something they want
- Something you think they will love
Another hack is to shop throughout the year. If I see something one of my kids or a family member will like and it’s on sale, I’ll purchase it. Then I organize everything in storage bins for safe keeping and the stealthiest hiding spot from my kids! Shopping throughout the year has easily become one of my favorite tips to save money and my sanity.
Thanks to websites like Minted and Walgreens, holiday cards don’t have to be stressful! Upload your favorite family photos, select from hundreds of pre-made templates, and voilà!
I suggest creating a spreadsheet of names and addresses.This will not only ensure you order enough cards, but it also makes it simple to upload your addresses at checkout. Then select the pre-addressed envelope option at checkout. I promise shaving off hours hand addressing envelopes is worth the extra charge! Once they arrive at your doorstep, all you have to do is add stamps and pop them in the mail!
As a mom, the Elf on the Shelf is the bane of my existence. Every morning without fail, I find myself in a panic as I frantically attempt to move the elf before my kids wake up. Well, not this year, mamas!
There doesn’t have to be any more stressing about what to do with the elf thanks to elf kits! My favorite find is this kit, but there are a variety to choose from on Etsy and Amazon. If you’re looking for a more frugal option, checkout the Elf on the Shelf website for an abundance of simple ideas and free printables!
Utilize your Calendar
Organizing your schedule is a pivotal part of staying sane during the holidays. Having everything on your calendar will not only prevent over scheduling, but it will also allow you to close some of those open tabs in your brain so you can relax!
My Best Tips
- Don’t forget to mark down those class parties and office celebrations.
- Make time for the things you want to do the most this season.
- Schedule time for shopping. There is nothing more stressful than shopping picked over shelves 5 days before Christmas!
- Don’t over-schedule yourself. The best way to guarantee this is to block off some time dedicated to doing absolutely nothing!
We all know moms make the holidays magical, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. Set realistic expectations for yourself and what you can accomplish. Next, look at those things that feel overwhelming and ask for help. Discuss sharing the responsibilities with your spouse or hiring help where it’s feasible. I highly suggest hiring a sitter or doing a babysitting swap with another mom. Taking an afternoon to get your list checked off early is guaranteed to alleviate some holiday-induced stress!
The Spirit of Giving
Whether you volunteer your time or donate to a local charity, take time to bless someone else this holiday season. My family and I are packing a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child for the first time this year and I’m looking forward to discussing with them what it means to give with a loving heart.
Celebrate the Season
Nothing kills the holiday spirit faster than obsessing over your to-do list! Remind yourself to slow down this holiday season and enjoy these moments with your kids.
5 Easy Ways to Celebrate
- Checkout the best light displays in Des Moines.
- Host a holiday movie marathon. Bonus points if you’re wearing matching family pajamas!
- Play in the snow. Whether it’s building a snowman or exploring a new sledding spot, these are the moments your kids will remember.
- Bake cookies- this is easily one of my favorites and an activity the whole family can get behind!
- Decorate- Hang ornaments on the tree or craft something festive with your kids to display on your mantle.