The holidays are coming! Every year they show up, bringing a mixture of delight, joy, and STRESS! There is so much preparation necessary to get yourself ready to have a happy holiday. There are trips to be made, recipes to test, a whole closet full of gifts to wrap. Though we love all of these things, preparation can be really time-consuming and at times frustrating. Sometimes the real meaning of the Holiday Season gets lost in the shuffle… you know? How do we get back to just enjoying the Spirit of the Season?
One of the best ways to start enjoying your holidays more is to make it as easy on yourself as possible. You have a ton to do, so it is really important for you to begin streamlining the process for yourself. Simplifying doesn’t mean that you don’t get to do a lot of the wonderful things that make your holidays special, it just makes it easier for the preparation! You’re going to have a great time!
1. Decide whose house the festivities will be at early on. Before you can start planning anything, you need to know where you’re going to be. It will determine the size of your celebration, what will be easy to cook, who’s bringing and making what, the type of decorations you will need and everything in between. If you’re from a blended family, it will also get any disputes about who should be where out of the way.
2. Team up for big jobs – Whether it is wrapping gifts, addressing Christmas cards, or baking cookies, there are some big undertakings coming with your holiday. Buddy up to get the big jobs done. Talk to your friends and see when they will be baking or sealing envelopes and have a big party.
3. Get the kids involved – Children are half of the reason we have holiday celebrations, to begin with. Get the kids involved with decorating. Show them the way to create your favorite holiday recipes. Create a new holiday tradition with them. Kids love to be helpful, so assign them tasks that will be fun for them and helpful to you.
4. Have snacks on hand at all times – Part of the fun of holiday preparations is having random guests drop by as they are coming to visit their families who live nearby or going on shopping excursions. I have some favorites that look super fabulous but yet so incredibly easy like pull out a bar of Cream Cheese… put it on a platter in the center… then pour a hot pepper jam over it… add crackers… YUM! Or how about always having slices of frozen Pound Cake in the Freezer so you can pull it out quickly. Heat up some of your favorite preserves, pour over the cake, add a scoop of ice cream or whip cream and you have an amazing dessert. Mix it up and have different flavors of frozen slices that you could add warmed Chocolate Sauce, warmed Nutella, scrumptious Caramel and all the other sauces you think would be delish. If you keep cookies, ice cream and sprinkles on hand you can whip up ice cream sandwiches in a snap and the kids will love it! Keep some humus in the fridge tightly sealed and plenty of Pita Chips in the Pantry. Then of course have some old time favorite snacks waiting to pour in a bowl or place on a dish! Have the makings for Hot Chocolate and be sure to have plenty of Coffee, Regular and Decaf. Keep a few Gluten Free Snacks on hand along with a few snacks for Vegetarians and Vegans, it will make them feel so special to know you thought of them. You’ll love being able to enjoy your friends and family without having to scramble for goodies to serve them.
5. Keep all of the gifts in one place – I know we like the idea of hiding things where others will never find them. It gives us so much delight in pretending to be Santa Claus. Here’s the problem: you spread gifts in 5 different hiding places, and you’re going to hide them from yourself. Do yourself a favor and stash your presents all in one place. You don’t have time to hunt everything up.
6. Clean your hall closet – When your guests arrive, there are going to need someplace to stash all of their coats, hats, and scarves. You don’t want to open up your closet and have tons of things come tumbling out. Make room in your hall closet for everyone to place their things inside, keeping them from having to wander unchaperoned around your house to track down their things when it is time for them to go home.
7. Buy all of the basic baking items – Butter. Sugar. Brown sugar. Salt. Baking powder and soda. Eggs. All of these baking essentials are going to be needed at your house in order to keep up with your holiday baking needs. No matter what recipe you are baking, every one of them is going to need one or more of these essential items. There’s no need to continue going back for more when you already know you’re going to need them. Keep a little bit of everything on hand, so no matter what recipe you need, you don’t have to brave the busy shops for anything but what is absolutely necessary.
8. Load up on wrapping materials – Just like your baking supplies, you already know you are going to need lots of wrapping materials for your holiday presents. It is time for you to load up a drawer filled with everything you need to create packages they can’t wait to tear into. Stock up on tape, wrapping paper in your chosen theme or just a fun selection to suit your mood at the time. Be sure to have tons of gift tags so every present knows where it is going. (We have tons of free tags here, here, here, here, and more: ) Also, if you need a few quick and easy wrapping ideas… check these out!
9. Prepare for spontaneous get-togethers – Your holiday season, as we mentioned before, is going to include a bunch of drop-ins and drop-offs. During this season, make sure you keep the house well maintained. Do a big deep clean in late fall, and after that put the family on notice. Though we want our families to feel comfortable at home, make sure you all understand that during holiday time things need to remain a little neater. Take turns dusting, sweeping, and making sure all of the essentials like toilet paper and soap are in all of the bathrooms. The random house guest doesn’t have to catch us off guard.
10. Remember to have fun – Everyone wants to have the perfect holiday, and that’s great. Who doesn’t appreciate a meal at a beautifully set table, smiling children, and a perfectly decorated home? There’s nothing wrong with wanting that at all, but here’s the thing: that can get really, really tiring trying to maintain. Don’t get so caught up in the preparation that you forget the most important element to the holidays – fun. Do you want to have a joyous holiday season? Go where the fun is.
11. The holidays require a lot of preparation, planning, and patience. You can enjoy your holidays thoroughly without being frustrated. You can enjoy your holidays without having to make a million trips to the store. This is a time of celebration, not a time to be at your wit’s end. Take the time to plan some things for yourself in advance. You’ll be glad that you did.
Stay Up to Date with The Cottage Market by Joining our Mailing List!
|Want to stay in the know? I’d really love that! (((HUGS)))|
|Like … on Facebook | Follow … on Pinterest | Follow … on Instagram ||