- Envision your ideal holiday celebration. Then, take steps to make it happen.
- Prioritize. Your to do list is most likely overflowing. Prioritize your time and focus on what truly matters. What is more important … buying brand new Christmas decorations or spending an afternoon with your kids or grandkids? Planning for a party you don't want to attend or having a date night with your love?
- Gift your time. The best present is presence. Many of us attempt to give material items to make up for the time we don’t spend with the people we love, but possessions can’t ever make up for lost time.
- Gift experiences, not stuff. Give tickets to a concert or play, a home-cooked meal, breakfast in bed, a foot rub, a vacation together, watch a wintertime sunset sink into the horizon.
- Use the B word. Budget. Money is often a huge source of holiday stress, especially when there doesn't seem to be enough to go around. Figure out just how much you can afford to spend throughout the holiday season and stick to it. It may encourage you to get creative.
- Get some sleep. You probably know that you function at your best when you're well rested. You have more energy, you're in a better mood, you make better/healthier choices, and your peers probably appreciate being around you more.
- Write thank you notes, or go digital, and write thoughtful emails. Be sure to thank everyone that has made your holiday season beautiful.
- Gift ethical items. Every item has a story, what is the story saying? Sweatshop? Hard-working woman, preserving village craft, and making a fair wage?
- Avoid Black Friday Sales. It’s important to understand that consumption is an unquenchable thirst. You may find good deals, but do you really need or want those items?
- Make or reuse decorations. Rather than splurging on new Christmas décor, give a DIY or Pinterest project a whirl; or make a tradition out of reusing family and vintage Christmas décor.
- Give digitally. Every year 200,000 trees will be cut down to make holiday cards. Sending digital holiday cards or online gift cards are effective ways to reduce waste, check people off your gift list, and ensure that your beloved ones will like what they receive.
- Support small and local businesses. Instead of shopping at large, national, and worldwide retailers, support your local businesses; support the people in your community who are making a difference.
- Ask for better Christmas gifts. Ask people for things you need or truly want. Like a good book, socks, a gift card for groceries, shampoo and conditioner, etc. It may sound boring, but these are things already on your list! Or, instead of gifts, you can ask people to donate to your favorite charity in your name.
- Email or text a friend and tell them something you appreciate about them.
- Opt out of the madness. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, shopping extravaganzas, and others just add in craziness, negativity, and stress into your life. There is no shame in not getting one single 'deal' this holiday season.
- Make it healthy. Well, not too healthy, we understand it's the holidays and we need to treat ourselves, but challenge yourself to make a healthier version of everything you did last year. We promise, it's not that hard.
- Uncomplicate your holiday menu. Opt for a simple menu, instead of 3 main dishes, 10 side dishes, and a million desserts, make more of less items. Have 1 main dish, 3 side dishes, and 3 desserts.
- Say no. Don't overcommit yourself.
- Unplug your brain.
- Start and end your day with gratitude.
- Write yourself notes of appreciation as an act of love and kindness toward yourself.
- Remember to be you, be authentic, and stay true to your wishes for the holiday season.
We hope these tips help enlighten you holiday experience and make it more!
Have an amazing holiday season!
Taylor + Stephany + Barb