Now that December is here, the holiday season is in full swing! This means different things to different people, but generally we all have our traditions that seem to define the holiday season. Unfortunately, many of these traditions are time-consuming, and as they add up, the holiday season seems to be defined by stress as well! In the past, I've been as guilty of holiday over-scheduling and "tradition perfectionism" as anyone else, perhaps even more so: I'd hand-craft 6 scrapbooks detailing our activities from the past year and tailoring them to various people to give as gifts; I'd send cards that included a photo (specially taken), a card with a personalized and handwritten message, and a newsy letter printed on holiday stationery; I'd bake cookies for all friends and family; we'd take a night to view holiday lights; we'd go to parties; I'd make ornaments by hand to commemorate each year; we'd have a new advent calendar for each year; we'd have special meals; and I'd spend too much on holiday gifts for everyone in our family--all in a quest to have a special and memorable holiday season. After a while, I got stressed and overwhelmed by the whole process, and looked for ways to pare down.
In the process of simplifying, I discovered that I could do many of these things, but to a lesser degree. Or, I could go all-out in some areas, and take shortcuts in others: I could do a simplified version of the holiday card, but still make the scrapbooks, or I could just give framed photos or email slideshows and put more attention into holiday cards. I could focus more energy on specific areas that were most important to my family that year. Letting go of my holiday overdoing was liberating!
If you find that your holidays get a little overloaded with holiday overdoing, here are some holiday shortcuts that you can use to create more time and relieve holiday stress.
Holiday Card Shortcuts
Simple Holiday Meals
How To Simplify Your Holiday Party
Reduce Holiday Shopping Stress
Holiday Stress Relief
What are your best holiday shortcuts? Leave them in the comments section of this blog--we'd love to hear them!