I know you’ve spent money you didn’t have on people you didn’t want to for Christmas. You’ve fought your way through mobs at the mall for your husband and maybe even snagged the last hot toy on the shelf for your kiddo.
I love me some Christmas, what I hate is the STRESS that comes along with getting everything in order for this jolly old time. of the year. My to do list gets crazy with school, church and now blogging. BUT a few years back, I had an epiphany and chucked all the Christmas madness by playing by a new rule:
Put people first.
Novel idea, right?
Let’s break it down so you really understand how this one thing simplified Christmas and saved my sanity. Here are a few items on my typical stress-filled to-do list, in no particular order.
- Plan the centerpiece/table décor for Christmas day
- Decorate the tree
- Wrap Christmas presents
- Clean the house
Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with my list AND I typically still do what’s on it, BUT as I think through the details, I now prioritize based on my family’s needs–not what life is dictating at the moment. This year I’ve made it even easier by using my own Holiday Planner. I’m telling you, this cuts down on stress like you wouldn’t believe because my focus is not on a million things I have to do, but what will bring the most impact to my loved ones.
Here’s how I apply this principle.
Plan the centerpiece/table décor
Me and Pinterest go way back. I love to pin all the pretty things and have you seen the centerpieces there? Give me all the gold and glitter and flowers and, and and… My son, on the other hand, couldn’t care less about the details like place cards and napkin folds. Are your kids interested? Probably not, UNLESS it’s really kid-friendly. So friend, don’t go ham with a meticulous décor scheme. Find a balance between making it pretty for you and functional for them, but don’t stress over details no one will remember. Instead, focus on making memories with them…perhaps by letting them help make the centerpiece.
Decorate the tree
I’m a Home Décor and DIY fanatic, so of course, I want a gorgeous tree. I want it the be beautiful and sparkly and elegant and… you see where I’m going here? I want my tree to be STUNNING. And for years, I had a stunning tree. As my son grew older and we began to decorate the tree as a family, I had to let go of my perfectionist tendencies and learn to love a less-polished tree. Who cares if it’s beautiful if the only memory my son has of it is how frustrated mommy acted when he hung ornaments in the wrong place?
Some people avoid this by having a kids’ tree in the den and a nicer tree somewhere else. My home is a little under 1200 square feet. I personally, don’t have space or time for that. And years from now I’ll have beautiful memories of my imperfectly perfect tree that we built together, not the Pinterest perfect photo thousands of strangers saved as inspiration.
Clean the house
Guest coming over? Yes I want my home to be spotless. BUT, when I examine the people I invite over I realized–they are not concerned with the few dishes in the sink or the dust on the top shelf of my bookcase. They came to enjoy us, not our things.
Cleaning my house is still on my list, but I worry less about the dust bunnies and more about their comfort. Instead of making sure I polish every piece of silver, I purge the shoe basket by the door and add fresh socks for cold feet. I also ensure I have enough throws around so they can relax and take a nap.
Wrap the Christmas Gifts
Pretty packaging makes gives me butterflies. Ribbons and bows and dainty little tags are IT. But read that again. MY jam. Not my son’s, not my husband’s, not most of the people on my list. I prefer to buy the heavily glittered, ornate Christmas wrapping paper at Target because well, it looks great under my stellar tree. But my son wants Avengers everything. Uhh, so not me. But gift giving isn’t about me. Again, it’s about him. To stress less, I make my life easier and don’t spend a fortune on paper or extra embellishments. Waste of time and money when they don’t care.
At the same time, I can still make the women in my world squeal when I wrap her gift in beautiful paper…because they would NOT enjoy the Hulk on their wrapping. If you make Christmas about them, you will make your Christmas simpler!
Don’t try to please everyone
With all that being said—you have to understand that you have limited time and limited funds. You can’t please everybody. This, my friend, means you’re going to have to prioritize the people on your list. I suggest you start with yourself. I know this seems counter-intuitive to your mom-guilt ridden conscience, but you can’t help anyone if you’re all broken down.
So, take a few moments to write down your list of whos before you write down your list of whats and I promise you, your Christmas will be a thousand times less stressful! I’ve included a little cheat sheet to get you started.
Download my free holiday planner to help you Manage Your Merry!
I stopped extreme couponing years ago because what I wasn’t paying for in cash I was losing in time. But there are a few things I couldn’t let go of and they were my cashback apps.