No need for a long intro about holiday stress. You know about it. Let’s dive in with ways to reduce it!
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- Start early with holiday plans. There’s no denying that early planning helps. Use the Make Ahead Holiday Meal Planner (MAHM) to help.
- Keep meals simple. Super simple.
- Real Food, Fast Food for the Holidays gives you some crazy easy options.
- Get some Meal Solutions or Meal Kits from Epicure to make meal planning extra simple.
- Or use Freezer Meals! Have a Freezer Meal Club session right before or after Thanksgiving so you’re stocked up on ready-to-cook meals during this crazy time. Don’t have a freezer meal club!??! Start one after the holidays.
- Make the same dish for every potluck. Stock upon supplies to save money and mental energy.
- keep everyone on their sleep schedule – including YOU!
- Eat reasonably. I’m not going to tell you that you and your kids should not consume any sugar. I mean, do it if you can! But I know that is hard to do. So don’t make it something else to stress over! Here’s that post again on having a Healthy (home)School Christmas Party Without Any Sugar.
- Have a plan for what stresses you most. Decorating? Cards? Holiday Budget? Wrapping? Set aside 30 minutes to create at least a very basic plan for that dreaded job. Use Trello, your favorite paper planner, your favorite digital planner or your bullet journal.
- Prepare a few holiday dishes in advance. Use MAHM.
- Be present. How many of us get too wrapped up in the chaos before an event that we don’t actually enjoy it. We look up and it’s passed. Or all we did was take photos and not actually EXPERIENCE it?
- Let go of expectations of perfection. Your tree will be perfect to your kids. Your wrapping will be torn off with little consideration. The cookies will taste great, even if cracked. A line of darkened lights on the porch is not an indicator of your worth! Can every year be “the best Christmas ever”?
- Delegate and say No. Sorry, we can’t do it all. Maybe DAD can help with cookies? Or cards? Or wrapping? Or maybe you just don’t do cookies this year. Gasp!