‘Tis the season for fun, festivities, and at times—unwelcome stress. This year, I am vowing to keep things simple. To limit those “brilliant” ideas, crafts, and recipes I come across on Pinterest. I’m vowing to have a stress-free holiday season. Here is my game plan to make this happen.
Lists, Lists, and More Lists
I am a chronic list maker and this time of year is no different. The simple act of writing things on paper helps me feel like I have control of what is going on. I have a list for gifts to buy, a list for blog posts to write, a holiday bucket list, and a list for decorating. I use lists for everything and check them daily.
Forget the Cooking
If I am being completely honest, cooking is not my strong suite. It is not something I enjoy and quite frankly, it stresses me out. After all, I’m the one that showed up at my mother-in-law’s house with a half burnt/half uncooked cheesecake a few years ago. So this season, I have decided not to attempt any new recipes. I’ll be sticking with the no-fuss recipes I’ve made over and over again. Simple and nothing fancy. And if you’re at a potluck with me sometime over the next month, there is a good chance I’ll be bringing something that I bought at the grocery store.
Prioritize what is Important
In our family, the holiday traditions are what makes it feel like the holiday season. My husband and I’s annual outing to the luminary display at the Desert Botanical Gardens, our Christmas eve mass and dinner traditions--these are the parts of the holidays that I always relish in. These are the things I am prioritizing this season.
The holiday season inevitably has me running around town more often than any other time of the year. From extra trips to the grocery store, to last minute searches for party wear at the mall--a little extra caffeine goes a long way. I have a stash of Shamrock Farms Cold Brew Coffee and Milk in the fridge. Since these are mixed with milk, they are super smooth with a slightly sweet taste. Plus, it has double the caffeine of regular coffee--perfect extra little jolt of energy to get me going in the mornings. PS: you can find these at Bashas, Safeway, Sprouts, or Quiktrip if you’re in Arizona. They come in Vanilla, Mocha, and original—the mocha is my fav!
Keep your routine
One thing I’ve learned the hard way is that messing with a toddler’s routine one day, messes with the toddler’s routine for far more than just a day. Take our fun night at our local Zoo lights event for example. There we were at 9pm still having fun wandering around the zoo looking at lights. Brody was in a great mood. He was loving life. He giggled with glee at the holiday music. It was well past his usual bedtime, but he seemed to be adjusting well---or so I thought. But come the following 3 days, we got payback. Payback in the form of tantrums, missed naps, and an overall cranky dude. So we learned our lesson. Don’t expect Brody to be pulling many late nights this holiday season. For our sanity, Brody will be promptly in bed by bedtime.
Just say no
Party invitations, family celebrations, and holiday events---the calendar is packed full this time of year. Rather than being exhausted and overstretched, I am giving myself permission to say “no” this year. I’m trying to limit our events to one per weekend. I am hoping to leave plenty of room for us to enjoy the real reason of the season. Plenty of time to enjoy each other. It is hard to decline an invitation or say no to an event, but if it adds to your stress or makes it harder for you to check off things on your list, then perhaps there is too much on your plate.
PS: Want more tips for a stress-free holiday? Melissa from Baby Castan on Board is sharing her tips for avoiding holiday stress.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Shamrock Farms. The opinions and text are all mine.