It is no secret that the holidays provide ample joy, but also an opportunity for ample stress. We all handle and prepare for the holidays differently. Some of us saunter and some of us scramble! Our styles are unique and so are our preferences. I’m thinking that taking a few minutes to step back and plan or create a few strategies that will later alleviate stress during the Christmas season would be a good idea for ALL of us! Whatever style you exhibit when celebrating occasions, don’t try to change it, just intentionally hone that style to craft a realistic plan. Here are 5ish things that you can do reduce scrambling during Christmas:
1 – Jot down quick ideas in the notes app on your phone or keep a Christmas notebook in your purse. Loved ones will drop hints at random times. Make the most of those random moments by putting them in a reliable place.
2 – Realize that writing things down releases your mind from trying to hold onto information. Your mind tends to remind you of all the things you have to do. During the Christmas season, it is imperative to keep your thoughts free from becoming overburdened. This isn’t just for gift ideas. This is for your calendar, your meal plan, your budget, addresses, and decorating plans. The sooner you write things down in a proper place, the freer your mind will feel.
3 – Utilize and make the most of your online cart. This isn’t a must. This is just an idea that may be helpful. Decide on a date when you would like to make your big order of Christmas gifts. Circle that in red. Whenever you find a chance, transfer the items in your Christmas notebook (the one you have used to jot down those quick notes) into your online cart, but don’t place the order. Just continue adding the items until that day that is circled in red.
4 – Make gifts part of your décor. If you have a hard time getting gifts wrapped early, it helps to include them in your Christmas decorations. Put someone the mantle, on the bookshelf, in a basket, or on the coffee table. The gifts will not only be wrapped early, but then they also are a simple way to make the room look festive.
5 – Do not compromise your sleep, exercise, and nourishing meals. Sometimes it feels selfish when we get to bed early or make a nice lunch for ourselves, but we can’t expect to perform at an optimal level if we aren’t taking optimal care of ourselves. Your family needs you!
Ish – Okay, I know “ish” isn’t a number, but this is a reminder that we all need to tell ourselves. I know you’ve heard it, but it is excellent to keep at the front of your mind. Do not put unrealistic expectations on yourself or your family. When we have an expectation in our mind (whether we verbalize it or not) we are setting up an image of what we would like to happen. We hold onto this image of our expectations until the reality of that situation happens. Then when whatever it is that we’ve created an expectation about actually happens, we have this image to compare. Are we setting ourselves up for a victory or for a fail? Stress happens when the to-do list begins to get unmanageable and the standards we have for our family are out of touch with what can happen at a loving pace. A loving pace is however fast or slow you can lead your kids while still keeping loving words on your lips.
The 5ish things on this list are not what Christmas is all about. Christmas is about our precious Savior. These ideas will just help you keep focused and organized during a season that begs you to scramble. Don’t scramble or stress. Start now- with a few intentional steps- to keep this season sacred. Looking for a resource to use during the Christmas season? The Itsy Bitsy Christmas is a cute way to close the day. This book is for 4-7-year-old children. Max Lucado makes the Christmas story accessible for little ones eager to understand how Jesus came into this world as a tiny baby. Itsy Bitsy Christmas helps children understand God’s great love. You’ll enjoy exploring these adorable illustrations with your little one.
How do you prevent yourself from scrambling at Christmas? What are a few tricks you have for focusing more on our Savior and less on scrambling? Blessings, Ruth Schwenk, TheBetterMom.com