The holiday season can be a wonderful time of the year. Between spending time with loved ones and enjoying good food, many people look forward to this down time. However, for some, it can be the exact opposite. According to the American Psychological Association, 38% of people actually experience an increase of stress due to preparation and planning of the holiday season.
With enough time in advance, handling the holiday duties will feel effortless! We’ve curated some helpful advice to stay on top of your festive tasks so you’ll be able to relax and relish in the holiday spirit.
Get Your Decorations ASAP
Figuring out how you’re going to decorate for the holidays takes proper planning. Coordinating all of your décor and making your home welcoming for guests takes effort! , Buying the decor you need now saves valuable time down the line, and helps beat the rush to ensure it’s still available in stores and online. With everything else going on during this time of year, the last thing you should be worrying about is where you can find specialty ornaments that you needed to put up before having company.
Draw layouts and play around with hanging decor in spots that you think will look the best in your home. This will help you decide where it’s most optimal to hang your festive Christmas decor. When the holidays arrive, you already have your decor layout down to a T.
Don’t be afraid to start decorating early. According to a report from Unilad, people who set up Christmas decorations in advance are happier, reminiscing on nostalgia from their childhood. Not only that, but the bright colors of the holidays correlates to chromotherapy, or color therapy, which is thought to increase energy levels and boost happiness.
Productive To-Do Lists
If you’re planning on having a get together at your home during the holidays, there’s even more to consider. Between purchasing food, gifts, decor, and extra amenities to accommodate guests, you need to keep track of a lot of things. Taking physical notes helps us interpret the information we hear and remember it better than if we had only heard or read it.
Creating lists far in advance gives you the flexibility of planning out what needs to be done when, as well as providing enough time to get it completed. Marking your calendar and recording dates for certain tasks will hold you accountable to get it finished. Prioritizing what needs to get done and having it all laid out in one place will help make sure you know what is already accomplished and what you still need to do.
Span Out Spending
Choosing gifts for loved ones and friends during the holidays can be difficult. The average American spends almost $700 each on gifts. Because many people end up waiting until the last minute to do all their gift shopping, this leads consumers to wind up in some sort of debt. It takes approximately 4.5 months to pay off their Christmas expenses. This can lead to more stress and less money for other things needed during this time of year, such as travel costs.
Instead, start planning out gift purchasing at least three months in advance. Set a budget that you’re comfortable with and figure out gift options that fit in that range. Giving yourself a set limit will help you realize what gifts are worth spending more money on and which aren’t. You’re less likely to go over budget when you’re slowly chipping away at your gift list over a period of months as opposed to buying everything at once.
The holidays don’t have to be as stressful. Getting small pieces of your holiday tasks completed over a longer period of time will help you feel more confident come Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year. Planning for yourself will preserve your sanity, time, and money, so you’ll only have to focus on enjoying your time with loved ones!
Rebecca is a content writer based in Dallas. When she isn’t writing you can find her hiking trails and counting down the days until her favorite holiday, Christmas!
Originally published January 8, 2019 — Updated January 9, 2020