The Ultimate Guide to Less Stress this Holiday

Picture this, it's mid December- you have your kid's choir concert to attend,dinner isn't ready, your Christmas tree is only half decorated,and your son just reminded you of the cookies you signed up to bake for his class party tomorrow.  Christmas is 2 weeks away and you're feeling anything but Merry!  Aren't the holidays supposed to be fun and magical?

Let's be honest, it is a stressful time of year!  But with a little planning and preparation, it can be a little less stressful.  Today I'm going to share The Ultimate Guide to L E S S Stress this Holiday.

The Ultimate Guide to Less Stress this Holiday- tips and tricks for having the best holiday season ever!

How to stress less this Holiday

With some planning and preparation, the holidays do not have to cause a bunch of stress!


There are so so so many great activities and parties during the holiday season.  But I have a secret- you cannot do it all.  It is physically and mentally impossible.  You have to prioritize and do the most important things first. 

Travel Decisions
Decide where you'll spend Thanksgiving and Christmas, and make travel arrangements.  Where will you be going?  Where will you stay?  How will you get there?  How much time do your gets get off from school?  These are all things you need to take into consideration when you are planning.

If you host any parties or meals, come up with a guest list, menu, and grocery list.  Make sure you have enough room to host.  Put all prep time on your calendar.  Make sure you have enough cookware, serving dishes, dinnerware and silverware.

The Ultimate guide to less stress this holiday, use a calendar

Keep a very strict calendar.  It doesn't matter if it's paper or digital, you cannot survive the season without a calendar.

Put  e v e r y  single appointment, activity, concert, party, family event, church meeting on your calendar.  Nothing happens if it's not on the calendar

Meal Plan  
When rushing to and fro, we can easily forget to make dinner.  If you have a meal plan, your family will have a greater chance of eating healthy meals to sustain them during this hectic season. See ideas for meal plans here.

Christmas Bucket List.  
Decide when you'll go look at lights or go ice skating and put all of those activities on your calendar.


The Ultimate guide to less stress this holiday, use a gift list

Master Gift List
Make a gift list of everyone you want to give gifts to.   EVERYONE!  Teachers, mail man, Aunt Rose, all of them.  Take note of wants and needs of the recipients.  Will you make any of those gifts?
Friends and family love to receive handmade gifts!

Use Amazon
It really goes without saying to use Amazon for Christmas shopping.  One thing I like to do is put things in my cart on Amazon when I think of them or have a good gift idea.  One of the best parts of Amazon is the ability to have the gift shipped directly to the recipient!

Use your phone
Keep a Christmas gift list on your phone.  You can use a Christmas gift app or just use the notepad. 
I keep a password protected note on my phone as a master gift list.  That way I always have it with me to write down ideas.  I can see it at any time to make changes or to mark off the gifts I have purchased or made.

Prioritize Gift List
When buying for your gift list, prioritize who you need to buy for and when.  Buy gifts that need to be shipped first.  If you are hand making gifts, you need to start as soon as possible as well.

If you can order gifts online, DO IT, and have them shipped directly to the recipient.  If you must ship, use flat rate boxes from the post office and do parcel pick up at your home.  See more tips for shipping Christmas Gifts.

Make Gifts
Listen- I'm a crafty blogger.  I would be remiss if I didn't put crafting gifts on this list. There are SO many tutorials out there for handmade gifts.  personalized metal tumbler  handmade tea towel gift
Make a budget and stick to it.  You don't want to start the new year off with a ton of debt from going overboard at Christmas.

Continue(or start)saving money
Sock away a little bit of money every week.  One of my favorite ways to save money is to buy extra gift cards when doing my normal shopping.

Credit Card
Cash in credit card points or any rebate points.  You can use them to buy gift cards or other items to use as gifts.

Buy things a little bit a time.  Or if it's more your style, make a huge list and do all of your shopping at once.  Either way, planning ahead of time and doing what works best for you will always serve you.

G I F T  W R A P P I N G 

The Ultimate guide to less stress this holiday, gift wrapping

Buy gift wrap early
Hobby Lobby (who has the best gift wrap in my opinion) has 50% off sales almost every week on their gift wrap.  I like to use inexpensive ornaments from the Dollar Store as gift tags.

Gift Wrap Station
Have a place in your home set up as a Gift Wrap Station.  It's so much more pleasant to have a designated place to gift wrap and to not have to hunt tape and scissors down over and over again.

Wrap gifts as you buy them
I really need to do better with this.  I'm the one that is always up until the wee hours of Christmas morning completing my gift wrapping.

C H R I S T M A S  C A R D S

The Ultimate guide to less stress this holiday, Christmas Cards

If Christmas cards are not your jam, skip them.  Do not feel guilty- because remember you cannot do it all and you're prioritizing the most important things to get done.  If you do Christmas cards:

Make or update your list 
Do this as early as possible.  Who did/did not send you cards last year?  Who do you need to add to your list?  Do you have current addresses for everyone?

Have photos taken before the season gets too busy- book your photo appointment today!  Or take them yourself.  

Order cards
Put your order in early when you have received a coupon code.  Christmas cards are really important to me so I always make them a part of my holiday prep.  I get our family photo taken in September or October

Cards after Christmas
What do you do with your Christmas cards after the Holidays are over?  I have an idea here.


The Ultimate guide to less stress this holiday, home decor, Christmas home decorations

If going all out in your decor is your jam, then go for it!  But if you like simple decor, then do that.  The point is to do what works best for you and your family and what keeps stress out of your life!  I like to block out time in my calendar to put up my Christmas decor!  I crank up the Christmas music, light some candles and deck my halls to my hearts content!

I'm not sure anything will take ALL of the stress out of the holidays.  But this Guide to Less Stress this Holiday will help your holidays be magical for everyone!