The holidays are a notoriously stressful time for a lot of people, and we are all a little out of practice after taking a year off from traditional holiday gatherings last year, making it more important now than ever before to take the time to savor the little moments that make up the best parts of the holiday season. It can be hard to let yourself slow down amidst the chaos that is December in America, but I have a few ideas that just might help you to be more present and festive this year. Feel free to leave some of your own tips, tricks, and suggestions in the comments.
Decorating – There tends to be a strange amount of pressure surrounding decorating for Christmas for some reason. People have a lot of opinions about when it is too early to decorate, or how long it is socially acceptable to leave them up after the holidays have ended. Lugging down all of the decorations can seem like a bit of a chore some years. Try to plan ahead this year. Take your time, and enjoy the process. Throw a decorating party and get your family or friends involved. There are very few holidays-related problems that the people you love, some h’ordeuvres, and a few drinks can’t at least take the edge off of.
Start a New Tradition – Traditions have to start somewhere, so why not be the one to create some new ones this year? Brainstorm ideas with your family and friends, and try to keep it as stress free as possible. You could even create scheduled a traditional selfcare day that you spend by yourself if that is what you need. If you need some ideas, check out the links in the sources under “New Tradition Ideas”, and leave some of your own ideas in the comments.
Christmas Breakfast – For some people, Christmas breakfast is huge, for others the dinner is the star, and breakfast isn’t such a big deal. Either way, Christmas breakfast is an opportunity to take a moment to be with the people that you love (or honestly by yourself if that is what you prefer), and enjoy a meal. If you tend to go a little bit more elaborate with your breakfast on Christmas morning, remember to slow down and let yourself fully enjoy the actual meal.
Meaningful Stockings – Personally, I think that stockings are one of the most underrated parts of the holiday season. They are often seen as kind of kitschy, or overlooked in favor of presents, but they have so much potential to be really thoughtful, useful, and personally relevant gifts. Even if kitsch is your thing, if you think outside the box a little, you can find items that are actually incredibly useful. Take the time to really think about the person that you are filling the stocking for, and try to choose unique items that will mean something to the person. You don’t have to break the bank for this either. Check out the links listed below under “Stocking Stuffer Ideas” for some inspiration.
Holiday Movies – This probably seems like an obvious one, but when you have a ton to get finished, moments like these can easily get lost amidst the last minute holiday preparations. Whether you are watching the classics while you bake, or taking the whole Saturday to fuse to the couch, order in, and watch holiday movies with the people you love, most of us will agree that there is something different about movies during the holidays. Whatever your version of this is, make sure that you are taking the time to be present in the moment with the people that you love.
Selfcare Moments – In the midst of the madness of shopping, cooking, traveling, present wrapping, and family gatherings, it may seem impossible to find the time to breathe, let alone take the time to practice self-care. One of the most important part of making sure that you get this time is setting boundaries. For a lot of us, boundaries are hard enough to set in our day-to-day lives, let alone when it comes to family during the holidays. It can be incredibly overwhelming. Remember that you are allowed to say no, and that learning to set boundaries is a process. It can be really helpful to have someone at gatherings with you for backup. If you need ideas for how to practice self-care this holiday season, check out the links provided under “Selfcare Tips”. If you have some tips to share, feel free to do so in the comments!
Give back / Volunteer – Giving back is obviously important all year round, but during the holiday season, when the weather is colder and money problems are exacerbated for everyone, it is so much more important to give back to your community. Food banks, soup kitchens, clothing drives, and toys for tots are just a few options for helping people in need this season. A simple google search should give you a ton options that are specific to your area.
With the impending stress of the holiday season descending upon us, I hope that this post can help you to manage at least some of that stress. The holidays can be a lot, but savoring the little moments and trying to focus on remaining present can really make a huge difference in your holiday experience. Remember that for your holiday shopping needs, Fifthroom.com has beautifully crafted options for just about everyone on your list.
New Tradition Ideas:
Stocking Stuffer Ideas: