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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

7 Ways to ENJOY your Holidays this year

Christmas is my favorite time of year! But I know for many people it can be stressful!
For the past three years I have enjoyed the holiday season more and more each year. 
My secret.... simplifying my holidays! 

I have taken away gift giving and shopping stress and focused my time on creating memories and relaxing with my loved ones. This year will be even more memorable because it is my first year being a mom. My heart is just bursting with happiness knowing that from now on what used to be a holiday season of my husband and I, will now include our son. Just typing this I am teary eyed. 

( toke this quick photo for you guys)

This year I plan on doing as little as possible and just focusing on the holiday traditions that I truly love. Some of my favorite things to do for the holidays is make homemade hot cocoa and watch Christmas movie classics like Home Alone, Elf and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. My husband's favorite is Next Friday and Fred Clause. 

In recent years my husband and I have enjoyed waking up early on a December Saturday morning and picking out our real tree. Its been a tradition of ours for a few years now and we really enjoy it. I love to blast christmas music on the way there and stop at Starbucks to get a holiday coffee and their delicious snowman cookie. With intention I have focused on making time to do these things rather than wasting time on things that will cause me stress and anxiety. 

I want to share some tips with you guys that can hopefully make your holiday season a little more stress free and more joyful and peaceful:

1. Create a practical budget
My husband and I started doing this a few years ago and it has been such a huge stress relief around the holiday season. Its not smart to put yourself in a financial bind during the holidays. When you set your budget stay disciplined and stick to it! 

2. Make time for self care
Don't forget to spread some holiday cheer to yourself! Make sure this is also something that will not stress you out and is also within your budget. It can be something so simple like taking a nice long bath, going to your favorite coffee shop and enjoying a holiday coffee, or checking out a holiday event that you are interested in. 

3. It's okay to say NO
As a natural people pleaser this one can be hard for me but I realized that the more I said yes to things the more stressed out I was feeling. Carefully pick and chose what events are meaningful to you. 
Make sure to not overbook yourself. It might be helpful to try to say yes to only 2-3 things. Its not worth saying yes to everything if you are going to be stressed out over them. You could be doing more satisfying and productive things with your time. If you have a hard time saying no (like I do) practice this on small things like a Facebook event invitation. Move at your own pace and what feels comfortable to you. 

4. Suggest a secret Santa to your family
This was one of the best things that happened to my family. A couple years ago I suggested to my family to do a secret santa and it was a huge stress reliever for all of us. Recently since my sisters and I have kids we have decided on focusing on the kids and not getting gifts for each other. This keeps the holidays light and fun. Its so sweet to see young kids open gifts than adults. Its also easier to shop for them! 

5. Start early!
If you have a long list of people to shop for make sure to cut down on all the store hopping and start early. Going to the stores around the holidays stress me out. Parking lots are packed, lines are long and stores are all unorganized. I tend to start early November and I usually order online. This helps me avoid crowded stores and utilize my time better. 

6. Decorate like a minimalist
This was something I Decided to do this year and I feel like a shed another level of holiday stress. You can still be festive but not over do it where you are out shopping for more decorations. I try to take one piece in my home and use that as a focal point. This year was the fire place mantel. I focused on decorating that the most and having the rest of the rooms compliment the mantel. Also utilize what you already have. Chances are you really don't need too many new decorations. Keep new shopping items to a minimal and that it matches your theme. Holiday items are so cute that you try to convince yourself that you need to have it! I know I think like this too but keeping it minimal will save you when you have to put all this stuff away after the holidays! 

7. Remember what the holidays are all about and what makes it special to you
For me it is celebrating the birth of Christ. I love going to church and celebrating his birth. But for you it can be a different tradition like spending time with your family and friends. Christmas is about love and spreading joy to others. Embrace imperfection. Sometimes we try to make the holidays so perfect that we often times forget about the things that make it special to us. 

I hope this post was helpful you guys and you too can enjoy a joyful and peaceful holiday season! If you find yourself needing some holiday cheer just come back to this post and look at Mateo sweet face <3

God bless you guys! 


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