The holiday season is supposed to be a time of magic and wonder, but for many of us it’s filled with stress. Here are 5 of my top 25 secrets for a “Stress-Less” holiday. Each week for the next month I’ll be sharing the rest of my Holiday secrets.
1. Assign everyone a job to do: A successful holiday doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself. It doesn’t matter how old or how young, give everyone something they can own and shine at for the duration of the gathering. The job could be putting coats in the closet or tidying shoes and boots, folding napkins, emptying trash or creating key menu items. This keeps everyone involved and means you don’t shoulder the entire responsibility.
2. Plan for comings & goings: If you’ve scheduled outings remember that it takes time to get everyone into outdoor gear, grab the essentials (keys/phone/Nintendo/book/wallet), start the car and load everyone up. The very young and the very old often need extra time to get ready to go. I’ve frequently come unstuck by scheduling things too close together and not allowing enough time before and after events for these transitions.
3. Have a photo competition: We love to photograph holidays, so why not set a competition that everyone can join? Set categories at the start of your time together such as; Silly, Red, Unusual Holiday, Snow, Animal, Traditional Holiday. Have everyone submit their best photo in each category. At the end of the holiday show the pictures and arrange for everyone to win a prize. You can award prizes for: Best in Category, Most Creative, Best Young Photographer, Most Humorous, etc.. After the holiday why not create a photobook with all the entries?
4. Break it down into small steps: Planning for big events can seem daunting and generate a sense of overwhelm. Take a tip from Event Planners and break your big tasks into a series of small manageable steps. Remember the answer to the riddle – how do you eat an Elephant? Answer, one bite at time!
5. Take some ‘Me’ time: Plan to give yourself at least 30 minutes every day away from the hubbub of the family and guests to relax and de-stress. Do something which rejuvenates your spirit.