Aaah the holiday season…synonymous with family, friends, love and joy, right?
Not when you're tearing your hair out, you're so overwhelmed.
Is the holiday season more stress than joy for you? Your parties accumulate, your wallet suffers from overpriced gifts and you dread the inevitable family quarrels?
If you need help having a Zen Christmas this year, I'm here to help.
make yourself a budget
Gifts are expensive. Especially in today's economy (am I right!?). If you don't make a budget, it's more than easy to "bust" your budget in no time.
Not to mention deciding on gifts as such, buy what from whom? Over the years, we begin to run out of inspiration.
So how do you stick to your budget while giving a gift that has value for its recipient?
My advice: make yourself an overall budget (ex.: you don't want to spend more than $300 for all your gifts) and stick to it! Nothing can convince you to spend an extra $1.
Then a good way to break down that budget is to divide it per person. There may be a few people around you that you would like to spoil a little more…nothing wrong with that.
Finally, shop around within your budget and buy gifts that match each other's interests. Sometimes it can take a bit of research, so it's always good to start shopping early!
If you need gift ideas, take a look at my 2022 Christmas gift guide. Otherwise, activities, experiments or even DIYs are gift ideas that are always sure to please!
Speaking of shopping ahead. It sounds obvious, but starting to plan your holiday activities in advance can save you so much headache!
For my part, I recommend starting planning your parties in November at the latest (personally, I'm more of an October type, but I may be a ''crazy planner girl'').
If you're hosting during the holidays, it's super important to tell your guests in advance. Make sure your party is on their calendar first! It'll save you a lot of headaches.
The food is one of the most important parts of a holiday party. So be sure to plan your menu in advance and block the necessary time in your agenda to make your meal! A good trick is to start cooking meals a few days in advance. It saves you from being in the big juice on the day of the event.
Conflicting dates between Christmas parties? Family, boyfriend, friends…phew. Avoid stress and put everything in your agenda as quickly as possible.
Don't be afraid to say no if the plans are getting busier and busier for you. The holidays are also a time of rest and introspection, don't forget that! You have the right to say no. Try to keep your holiday season enjoyable by scheduling time for relaxation in your calendar.
Back to the gifts…shop them early and avoid the crowded December stores and the inevitable shortages of decent wrapping paper…
Plan your outfits
Another one of the hells of the holiday season…outraged them. Every year, you always have an idea of what you're going to wear for your party with family or friends.
But when you have 6 ''back to back'' Christmas parties? It's almost impossible to plan your sets in advance.
If you've been shopping for your holiday clothes, fall is the best time to do it. No stress waiting for your things in the mail at the last minute. It's also easier to know what you have to mix and match in advance. Hindsight is all.
All the things you can do with a pair of pants, a skirt, a dress and two different blouses! No need to redo your wardrobe for the holidays. :)
Take yourself on a Saturday morning to organize all this, write it down in your diary and voila!
There is nothing worse than a holiday season tinged with family feuds. I think we can all agree that we want a relaxed and happy holiday season.
If you anticipate that your holiday season will be invaded by the same conflict that comes up every year - now is the time to take charge.
First, if the conflict concerns you, try to water down your wine. There's no point in adding fuel to the fire during the holidays... you have all the other days of the year to blow up a notch. ;)
If it gets too much, don't be afraid to walk away from the situation or person that makes you uncomfortable. Even if you have no choice but to be in their presence, try as much as possible to surround yourself with things or people who are positive for you.
Leaving a holiday party earlier is also 100% okay. You've got enough? Simply quit. There is also the option of popping in for an hour or two, just to show up for the host and keep the peace.
If you find yourself pulling left and right and feeling overwhelmed by all the activity jumping at you, try to manage expectations. If you have scheduling conflicts and overlapping parties, let the hosts know! Tell them you'll be spending a few hours at one and a few hours at the other...that way the host will know what to expect and everyone will be happy.
Finally, take a deep breath: everything will be fine. With these few tips, organizing your Christmas 2022 has never been easier.