Take the Stress Out of Your Holidays with this Simple Timeline

If you know you need to take the stress out of your holidays, you’ll love this simple timeline! Just follow it … and enjoy an easier holiday season!

Starting to stress at the thought of the upcoming holidays?

This time of year I always feel the temptation to stress. But because I want to avoid holiday-induced stress as much as I can, I work hard to prepare for Christmas weeks in advance.

I reason with myself that if I do a little bit here and there, I won’t turn into a ball of stress right before Christmas. I can enjoy parties and traditions more. And I can avoid anxiety by staying away from jam-packed stores.

I only started this pre-meditated planning after running from activity to party for years … and without fail, I sprinted through the stress-filled season, always exhausted and grateful when January 1 would arrive and the busyness would be over.

Finally it sunk in that this was absolutely ridiculous.

For a season meant to focus on love, joy and the birth of the Savior, a hectic, stressful rush seemed like the exact opposite. As much as I want to create and live in a haven, it’s ludicrous to not have a haven from Thanksgiving to New Year’s.

It’s obvious that I need to focus to take the stress out of the holidays. Chances are you do, too.

If you know you need to take the stress out of your holidays, you'll love this simple timeline! Just follow it ... and enjoy an easier holiday season!

If you know you need to take the stress out of your holidays, you'll love this simple timeline! Just follow it ... and enjoy an easier holiday season!

Avoiding the December rush

As counter-cultural as it may seem to plan ahead to avoid the rush of Christmas, planning ahead really works. In fact, it works really well. Most Christmas seasons my family focuses on one activity or party a day so we can really enjoy what we’re doing. We don’t have to rush around like chickens with our heads cut off.

This year, though, my family’s thrown for a loop. My son was cast as Tiny Tim in a production of A Christmas Carol, so my nights are spent taking him to practices … and waiting for the 16 performances to hit in December.

When I knew he was interested in auditioning, I knew I had to have some sort of a reasonable plan in place so my head wouldn’t explode in stress this Christmas season. So I’ve kicked my planning up a couple notches this year.

Based on my family’s tight schedule, I’m starting my holiday preparations this week. Don’t get me wrong … I LOVE savoring November and all that Thanksgiving is. But I also know that with a little preparation right now, I can get ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas. And I can really cut back on my stress.

Need to take the stress out of your holidays? Try this easy approach!

In case you have a busy schedule, too, or would just like a little help in getting your holidays organized and planned ahead of time, I’ll give you a peek into my timeline. (Copy it and use it in your own life to ease up the stress of the season!)

Week of November 13

  • Figure out holiday plans and get everything on the calendar.
  • Make holiday menus and start watching sales flyers for good bargains.
  • Make Christmas gift lists … complete with gift ideas, where to buy, and how much to spend.
  • Buy holiday scented hand soaps.

This year I’m stocking up on Mrs. Meyer’s Iowa Pine hand soaps. I absolutely LOVE keeping holiday hand soaps in my bathroom and kitchen for guests … and my family. Just the scent makes everything smell so much more festive!

The good news is you can get your own for FREE through Grove Collaborative.When you place your first order (just click here!), you’ll get a Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning set.

Week of November 20

  • Clean the kitchen and bathroom for Thanksgiving.
  • Cook and bake for Thanksgiving.
  • Check out Black Friday sales and shop for great deals.
  • Decorate for Christmas the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

Week of November 27

  • Plan and buy supplies for Christmas crafts.
  • Make Christmas card list.
  • Buy Christmas cards and postage.
  • Christmas shopping.
  • Start Christmas devotional (this year I’m reading Asheritah Ciuciu’s Unwrapping the Names of Jesus).

Week of December 4

  • Address and send Christmas cards.
  • Work on Christmas crafts.
  • Finish Christmas shopping.
  • Continue Christmas devotional.
  • Attend Christmas performances and parties.

Week of December 11

  • Bake and freeze Christmas cookies.
  • Work on Christmas crafts.
  • Wrap gifts.
  • Continue Christmas devotional.
  • Attend Christmas performances and parties.

Week of December 18

  • Wrap gifts.
  • Host and attend parties (like a neighborhood Christmas brunch).
  • Attend Christmas performances.
  • Clean house.
  • Continue Christmas devotional.

By December 22

  • Relax! Enjoy the end of this Advent season.
  • Bake Christmas goodies.
  • See Christmas lights, enjoy Christmas parties, worship at church, be still and know that He is God … God with us.

By working ahead little by little, you'll be able to keep the stress out of your holidays.

Even though it seems a little early to get started, I love knowing that working steadily on holiday tasks all through November and December helps me actually enjoy the days leading up to Christmas. Plus, it fills my December with all sorts of fun activities.

Instead of feeling burdened with nearly impossible to-do lists and saving everything until the last minute, I’m able to actually take my time and enjoy different holiday tasks. That alone has helped me keep the stress out of my holidays. And by working ahead little by little and bit by bit, you’ll be able to keep the stress out of your holidays, too.

How do you successfully manage to take the stress out of your holidays?

Disclosure: Links in this post may be affiliate links. This means that, at no added cost to you, I may make a commission on products purchased through these links. Thank you for supporting this website!

All images courtesy of Unsplash.

Hilary
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