The holidays are here and for a select few go-getters, this time of year with all the to do’s and lists and errands and social calendar entries is a time of energetic frenzy. For lots of others, the to do’s and lists and errands and social calendar entries can quickly become overwhelming.

What is truly important to remember is that all the to do’s and lists and errands and social calendar entries, the holidays are really about the people – friends and family, making memoires, sharing time.

If the holidays overwhelm rather than invigorate, consider simplifying it all:

Traditions: Think about the things that have “always been done” and decide whether they are truly relevant to your life as it is now. Maybe the matching outfits for the kids have become stressors rather than a joy, the cookie baking with all the grandkids feels like the mess takes days to recover from, or the lofty ideal of themed wrapping paper no longer brings the happiness it once did.  

Which of these things are important enough to maintain as traditions? Maybe one? Maybe none?

Food: The flavors of the season are often tied to treasured family recipes. Rather than making twelve different types of cookies, consider scaling back to one favorite for each person in the immediate family and call it good. If the holiday meal preparation feels overwhelming, scale back the sides, offer only one dessert, skip the appetizer round, or even get some help from a local deli or caterer.

Suggestion: If someone asks, “What can I bring?” Let them bring something!

Décor:  Believe it or not, it is actually all right to leave some decorations in their boxes. Display the items that truly bring you joy, select only a handful of favorite ornaments per person, or go all out with a coordinated decoration scheme if that makes you happy.

Holiday décor is the one time that a jumble really brings joy!

Keeping the focus where it belongs for the holiday can be a serious stress reducer. Figure out what is key to your joy, and go from there!


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