1. Shop Smarter
The key to smart holiday shopping is making a plan and starting early. Start building your list now, categorize your shopping by location, and don't put it off until the last minute. Plan a couple of Saturdays to get your shopping done. And this includes online shopping! Amazon's two-day shipping is a lifesaver, but having all of your shopping done early will take a load of stress off your shoulders later on. And if you're out and about and happen to see a great deal on candles, soaps, notepads, or other small gifts, permit yourself to grab a few to have on hand just in case.
2. Say No
The holidays come with loads of invites to parties, events, and community celebrations. But remember: you aren't obligated to do it all! Pick and choose what is most important to you and say no to the rest. Don't feel pressured to attend everything. If you can't find the time to make it to the annual holiday parade this year, don't worry, there's always next year. Sometimes the best memories are made at home in your PJs with hot chocolate and a good board game.
3. Fine Tune the Food
Holiday potlucks are popular for a reason: they are a fun and cost-effective way to get everyone together. But if you're not a master chef, it can be stressful planning what to bring for all the parties. Pick one no-fail recipe to use all season long rather than trying to come up with something different for every event. Even better, work to have all the ingredients on hand ahead of time, so you don't have to scramble before each gathering. Maybe it's your grandma's pecan pie, a healthy winter salad, or yummy savory meatballs. Delicious food doesn't have to be difficult!
The holidays are about celebrating with the ones you love. Let yourself stress less this year and focus on the things that truly matter.