Ah-the most wonderful time of the year! But, unfortunately, all the “decking” of the halls, Black Friday and Cyber-Mondaying, and general merry-making leads to stress due to clutter, both mental and physical.
So here is your Official Guide to Holiday Sanity:
- Buy experiences for gifts: this is an especially useful suggestion for grandparents who tend to overbuy and contribute to unwanted clutter. Suggestions could be tickets to a sporting event or show, yearly passes to the zoo, museum or state parks, or even one-time experiences such as a sailboat-navigating lesson.
- Better stocking stuffers! Resist the urge to buy cheap, breakable toys that will be jammed into junk drawers. Instead, purchase card games (or a plain deck of cards with printed instructions for several new games), ornaments that can be hung, or things that will be used up such as holiday scented hand sanitizers, fun school supplies, and creamy body wash for dry winter skin. If you’re like me and don’t like to fill stockings with a too many sweets, instead opt for some nuts, or exciting new flavors of gum.
- Out with the old, in with the new: January brings a lot of downtime with cold evenings that begin early. It’s a good time to make room for all the the new items received by donating unwanted items. This could also be done just before Christmas to keep kids busy on winter break– and they may be more easily convinced to edit their belongings for those who might need them.
- Reconsider your decorations: Once you’ve pulled out your decorations and decided what to use this year, look at what’s left. If you haven’t used it in awhile, it’s broken, or the lights are out– now is the time to get rid of it. If it’s a family heirloom, consider sending it to a member of the family who will appreciate and use it.
- Pare it down: If Christmas has become too complicated for you, it’s time to rethink. Accept only doable commitments, bow out of the rest. Shop online when possible. If you’re having guests, plan meals that can be thrown into the crockpot while you visit, and look up some breakfast recipes that can be prepared ahead of time and popped in the oven in the morning such as this overnight french toast dish.
Simplify so you can enjoy the holiday– take it down to just one partridge in a pear tree 🙂