As much as we want to be filled with peace, love and joy during the holiday season, it often can be a struggle to accomplish just one of these three. You can’t find the doll your daughter really wants, you have to be at four family parties in one day and your son just informed you that four dozen frosted cookies are needed for tomorrow’s school recital.
It’s understandable then that you may want to pull your hair out before the holidays even start. But to avoid feeling overwhelmed, consider these tips to ensure you have a happy holiday season:
1. Start your shopping early. If you have several people on your list to buy for, get started as soon as you have ideas for what they need. In October, I was at a toy store and overheard a mom putting several items on layaway for Christmas. This mom was one smart cookie: she most likely wouldn’t be stressed come December searching for the ‘perfect’ toys, and, she didn’t have to pay all of the money upfront. Instead, she could pay in installments and know when it was paid off, everything would be waiting for her.
2. Avoid the stores – shop online. So many retailers have established eCommerce platforms that make shopping for the holidays easier than ever before. If you hate long lines and crowded places, online shopping is for you.
3. If you can’t avoid the store… avoid the crowd. Not everyone will be comfortable with online shopping. But that doesn’t mean you have to shop at 6 p.m. with everyone else. Hit the stores later. The crowds die down, and many stores keep holiday hours, which mean you could be shopping until 11 p.m. You still get to find everything you need, but without five other people trying to do the same thing.
4. Establish a holiday schedule and stick to it. As much as you would like to be at every party, you have to realize you can’t do it all. As soon as the invitations for parties, recitals and more start coming in, create a calendar of events. Seeing it all on one paper gives you a much better idea of what you have scheduled. And, account for shopping time as well. Build that into your schedule so you aren’t scrambling at the last minute and feel pressure to get it all done at once.
5. Sit back and enjoy the season. Whether you live in Toronto or Houston, San Diego or Cleveland, the holidays are a great time to see the beauty of the community you live in and how everyone celebrates. Take a quick drive around town to see the awesome holiday light displays, visit the city Christmas tree or stop for a minute to listen to the carolers. None of those things will take much time away from your day, and, it can help give you back the holiday spirit you really want.
Having a happy holiday as a working adult is no easy task. But if you plan ahead and find time to see the beauty in the season, you will have no trouble finding peace, love and joy this year.