Can you believe Christmas is in less than 2 weeks? The holiday season is supposed to be a joyous time of family togetherness. But between the last minute present shopping, the gift wrapping, the house cleaning, and all the cooking, that last week before Christmas can get a little overwhelming. With a little advance planning though, you can focus more on your family and less on the million items on your to-do list.
Here are a few great tips to help you keep stress to a minimum so you can enjoy Christmas to the fullest.
- Focus on simple meals in the days leading up to Christmas. Using a meal plan and doing some freezer cooking ahead of time can keep healthy meals on the table with little fuss. (But if things are getting too crazy and you really don’t have time to cook, remember that tossing some chicken nuggets and french fries in the oven for one dinner won’t be the end of the world.) To help eliminate the extra work of meal planning, why not look into a service like EMeals. They do all the planning for you so it’s one less thing to worry about.
- Keep plenty of healthy snacks in the house. Remember hungry kids are grumpy kids. Keeping healthy options on hand like seedless grapes, string cheese, baby carrots, hard-boiled eggs, trail mix, mixed nuts, and wheat crackers will ensure that your kids still have healthy snack options so you don’t have to stop what you are doing and prepare something. For some great healthy snack recipes you can prepare in advance, be sure to check out Healthy Snacks to Go. It has over 30 wonderful recipes, including ones for homemade Larabars.
- Get your kids to help. You don’t have to do everything all by yourself. Assign each child tasks based on age and ability. Make that old adage “Many hands make light work” your mantra during the holiday season.
- Keep your to-do list manageable. Trust me, I know far too well how easy it is to overextend yourself this time of year. Planning ahead is key. Grab a cup of coffee and write out a list of everything that absolutely needs to be done by the 25th. Schedule a few tasks each day so things don’t get overwhelming trying to get everything done at the last minute.
- Make time for yourself. Have quiet time in the morning to read your Bible. Schedule some time for exercise each day. Also make sure you have at least an hour or so to unwind in the evening by watching tv or reading a book. By allowing yourself some down time, you’ll be better able to handle everything you need to get done.
And most of all, remember you don’t have to be a supermom. Take a deep breath and remember the true reason we are celebrating the Christmas holiday. In years to come no one is going to remember whether your house was immaculate or that you had such beautifully wrapped presents that they could be on the cover of a magazine. What they are going to remember is the special time spent together as a family. Keep that in mind as we head into the last few days before Christmas.
So tell me… What are your best tips for a less stressful holiday season?