Remember being a child, when the holiday season held so much magic? Fast forward to adulthood, and these days the magic is more fleeting, and it certainly doesn’t happen with a wave of a wand. If only.
The holidays can present a dizzying array of demands: holiday cards, decorating, meal planning, hosting, travel arrangements, gift shopping, wrapping, social functions, and that’s after we take care of our everyday, year-round tasks like feeding the family and keeping up with the laundry. Consider also that Thanksgiving falls late this year, leaving only the blink of an eye before Christmas arrives. If the very thought of all that makes you feel frazzled and not festive, here are some tips to consider for a smoother approach to the holidays, allowing you to stop and smell the Christmas trees along the way.
Edit your to-do list. When you look back on the holidays will your memories be so different because you bought the cookies rather than baked them yourself? Because you hosted a potluck rather than a dinner party? Or because you didn’t have new sheets on your guest bed? Ask yourself whether the additional workload will make a tangible difference to your memories (and your sanity).
Get Help! Discuss at home how to share the workload and talk to family about realistic expectations. If you have kids then enlist their help with appropriate tasks. They can help ready the house for visitors, brainstorm gift ideas, and let’s face it, Grandma will appreciate the meaningful effort a child has taken to wrap a gift, even if it doesn't look perfect. Shared activities like gift wrapping can make for fond memories, and have the added bonus of helping the kids focus on giving rather than receiving.
Take time for yourself. Holiday obligations can be important but be sure to balance them with some time for yourself. It can be as small as a walk around the block. A bubble bath with some holiday music. A movie and a glass of wine. Self care is key and will give you the bandwidth to handle the stress. Take a mindful moment to reflect on what the holidays mean to you.
Start early & be proactive. Start small. From the tiny acorn grows the mighty oak. Wrap your gifts as you buy them. Batch cook in October or November and freeze ahead. Take a few minutes to consider your festive clothing. Decisions are way easier without time pressure.
Keep your plans focused. A good example of this is decorating. Focus on the front door and the tree, and if you can manage it, one other focal point. If you can’t, who’s really going to remember? Oh, and remember, take Instagram with a pinch of salt, life is real, people!
May your holidays be intentional, free of drama, and with a healthy sprinkle of magic!
Hey Presto Concierge Services provides personal concierge services to individuals and small businesses in the Bay Area. We offer ‘Holiday Elf’ packages, where you can get help where you need it most, including wrapping, decorating, errand running, shopping etc. Post holiday clean up? We’ve got you covered too. Call 408-465-9009 for more info. www.heyprestoconcierge.com.