5 Tips for a Stress-Less December

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If you ask any mom, parent, adult, or human what the most stressful time of the year is, I guarantee they are going to say December. During this month, we run ourselves ragged trying to ensure our loved ones have the most amazing holiday season. We often stress out to a point that we don’t get very much joy out of the season at all. You may find yourself wondering after it is all over, was this even worth it? Sure, the smile on your child’s face will warm your heart. The toll on your mental health may not warrant the same reaction. Here are five tips for a “stress-less December”. 

Start Early

I am the type of shopper that will start picking up Christmas presents in July (or earlier if I see something epic!). To make sure the gifts I choose are special, I pick stuff up all over the place when I see something that really reminds me of someone on my list. I love picking up awesome finds at all the different art festivals and craft fairs I visit over the summer. This ensures I find really unique things for my loved ones that are not worthy of re-gifting.

Wrap Often

During the month of December, my dining room table looks like Santa’s workshop. Tape, wrapping paper, and ribbon are left out all the time so I can wrap my gifts as I go. This helps me stay organized and not get overwhelmed with wrapping gifts the closer the holiday gets. Also, my tree looks much more beautiful with presents underneath.

I even coordinate the wrapping paper I wrap in. Each of my children get a different design of wrapping paper. Then, gifts that go to my husband’s family and my family get different prints. This ensures that a gift doesn’t get mixed up or forgotten. These little things help me to have a stress-less December (and holiday season!).

Make a List, and Check it Twice

During the holiday season, my “Notes” app is full of different lists. I create lists for who I have bought gifts for, who I need to buy gifts for, what I need to get at certain stores, and grocery lists for different events and meals coming up during the season. To take some of the burden off myself, I share some of these lists with my husband. This way, he can help out if needed.

I also keep a running list of gift ideas for me to share with my husband. This way, he is never clueless about what to buy me and I always get something I want. This is great for birthdays, Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, and other special occasions, too. 

Create or Modify Your Own Traditions

Take the normal traditions you usually do, and scale them down a little bit! For me, Elf on the Shelf is a huge creator of holiday anxiety. Remembering to move him and come up with something clever each night stresses me the elf out! Instead of having our Elf move every night, he just moves on the weekends.

Sometimes I get bummed out when I see my friends on Facebook or Instagram cutting down their own Christmas tree or having everyone in their family (dogs included) in matching Christmas pajamas. I need to tell myself that these social media platforms are people’s highlight reel. They often don’t show the real life day-to-day moments that aren’t so perfect.

To have a stress-less December, make your own traditions that are a little more attainable. Instead of matching Christmas jammies, how about matching holiday socks? Maybe instead of the whole family trucking out to the tree farm to chop down the Christmas tree, everyone could help decorate an artificial tree and enjoy some local takeout?  

Say No

While this is the time of year our social calendar is bustling, there is no possible way I can make it to every event we receive an invitation to. We need to pick and choose the events we want to attend and the people we want to see during the season. This is often people we might not get to see during the year, but make an extra effort to get together with during the holidays. A few of our social engagements are being postponed until January when the majority of the hustle and bustle has slowed down and people’s calendars open up.

While there is no easy solution to have a stress-free holiday season, I hope these tips will help you have a “stress-less” December.

For more on the holidays and avoiding stress, we have some tips to share on how to declutter the “stuff” of celebrations.

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