My holiday season survival tips are rooted in years of practice. Sticking to the plan means less stress from early November all the way through early January.
I define the holiday season as Thanksgiving and Christmas for my family because those are the special days we enjoy celebrating. It really begins on November 1 for us as we begin to anticipate Thanksgiving and begin making our Christmas plans.
Before Black Friday lost it’s thrill, we used to all bring our own newspaper loaded with sales ads to Thanksgiving dinner. Immediately after the meal we would begin creating a plan of action for shopping the sales! We would divide and conquer to get all those deals we needed for the kiddos.
Welcome to the 5th annual 12 Days of Holiday Ideas event, hosted by Shirley of Intelligent Domestications and Erlene of My Pinterventures Between Nov. 11th and December 6th there will be hundreds of new ideas shared by over 55 Co-host bloggers!
Go here to see our kick-off collection of Holiday ideas as well as all of this years talented participating DIY and Foodie Blogs. Download this years November and December calendars with all of the topics and dates so you can make plans to visit us again for ideas every Monday, Wednesday and Friday through the first week of December.
We are hosting a BIG GIVEAWAY from our Sponsors this year!
GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED
See all 12 Days of Christmas Ideas
- Day 1 (Gift Guides) 15 GIFTS WOMEN REALLY WANT UNDER $50
- Day 2 (Holiday Survival Guides) MY HOLIDAY SEASON SURVIVAL TIPS (this is what works for me)
- Day 3 (Kids Activities) TWEEN & TEEN CHRISTMAS ACTIVITIES (I interviewed my Grand kids and these are their answers)
- Day 4 (Party Games) CHEAP & EASY CARDBOARD BOX SNOWMAN BEAN BAG TOSS
- Day 5 (DIY Advent Calendar) ADORABLE ADVENT CALENDAR EASY CHRISTMAS CRAFT
- Day 6 (DIY Wreath) FESTIVE RED BUFFALO PLAID CHRISTMAS WREATH
- Day 7 (DIY Ornaments) SIMPLE & EASY NATIVITY CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS
- Day 8 (Christmas Printables) EASY KIDS CHRISTMAS LIGHTS SCAVENGER HUNT GAME
- Day 9 (Pot Luck Recipes) ROASTED BRUSSEL SPROUTS WITH BALSAMIC GLAZE
- Day 10 (Christmas Desserts) CRANBERRY PECAN WHITE FUDGE
- Day 11 (Christmas Breakfast) CHICKEN AND CHEESE EGGS SKILLET
- Day 12 (Christmas Tree) FESTIVE RED AND GOLD CHRISTMAS TREE DECORATIONS
Today is Day 2 of 12 Days of Holiday Ideas and I am sharing my personal tips with you on how I survive the holiday season beginning with Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year because it is the most relaxing. Our extended family will converge at our home with their best dishes in hand. We share a meal, laughs and just enjoy the fellowship of one another’s company with no strings attached. All of the little cousins get to play with one another and it really just makes my heart smile.
THANKSGIVING SURVIVAL TIPS
One word will describe How I Survive Hosting Thanksgiving, Lists!
Nothing is more satisfying than checking items off a To-Do list! Have you ever actually added something to a list which you have already done just so you can check it off? Guilty and not ashamed!
So I created this Thanksgiving Planner Set years ago and updated it last year. It works for me! I use it every year. You can download and print it for free.
This year I created a Southern Thanksgiving Meal Plan which I have made available to purchase for only $7 right here. The best part is that I included a grocery shopping list for the ingredients needed for each dish to go along with the meal plan and 16 southern favorite Thanksgiving recipes.
Delegate! If you host a crowd like we do, you must not be bashful about delegating. Tell everyone something to bring and they will gladly do it. Put someone in charge of games if your family enjoys playing games when you all get together. Follow our Pinterest Board GAMES FOR FAMILY & FRIENDS for tons of ideas.
MY CHRISTMAS SEASON SURVIVAL TIPS
HOW I MANAGE MY BUSY HOLIDAY SCHEDULE
Calendars, yes that is plural.
Write it down! I have been keeping one of these small purse size planner-calendars for as many years as I can remember. They are super cheap, under $3 and are always good for 2 years. It’s where I write down appointments and events. I keep mine in my purse or a kitchen drawer for quick reference.
Google Calendar app. It’s the easiest online calendar I have found to use and can be used on any device, cell phone or PC. Many of the appointments you make can be auto added to your Google calendar. I was recently scheduling a medical procedure, an eye exam and the exterminator during the same few days. Quickly being able to glance at my Google Calendar on my phone allowed me to keep those all from over-lapping.
Are 2 Calendars over kill? Nope, not for me! If I double check then I won’t double book myself and I can see at a glance when to pencil in a day off from everything.
I want to say shop early and often, online. Get those free shipping deals and avoid the crowds and traffic. That is stress relief right there!
Get paid to shop! This is really a no-brainer folks. I have been using ebates, now called Rakuten, for many years. It’s super simple and free to sign up. You simply go to the site, type in the name of the store or an item search, hit enter and start shopping. If you make a purchase, money will be deposited into your account. Once per quarter it will be sent to you via the method you select. Sign up free with my referral link right here.
No New Debt! Do you really want to still be paying off Christmas gifts in June when you would rather be planning vacation? Don’t run up your charge card balances for gifting. There are many ways to share the thought without going into debt.
One way to manage your finances during the holiday season is Lists. Yep making a list can indeed help you manage your money. Keep reading and I will tell you how to use lists for financial management during the Christmas season.
Make a list of all the expenses you expect to incur after Thanksgiving and before New Year’s. Then take a good hard look at your list and find a few things to eliminate.
Create a list of all the folks you will actually purchase a gift for and then ask yourself if there are maybe a couple of folks you can skip this year.
Gift your talent. Get crafty and creative. Maybe your talent is sewing, drawing or crafting. Chances are pretty good that you already have a nice stash of crafting supplies you can use to make gifts
Gift Yourself! You heard that right. The gift of time creates memories and you cannot put a price on memories.
Take out that calendar we talked about earlier and create a schedule with the names of people you’d like to spend time with who are on your Christmas lists. Make each of them a small card telling them all about it. That is their gift from you. It might be watching a Hallmark movie with your Mom or going fishing with your Granddad. You get the idea. It’s free to give your time and it is also priceless.
As much as we enjoy the decor we do not enjoy the time consumed in creating the decor. You can make decorating an event which is woven into celebrating the season with your family.
Turn Decorating Into An Event
Create a party feeling. Set up a small version of a Hot Cocoa Bar in your kitchen along with some cookies or sweet treats for Decorating Day.
Get all of the boxes of decor out of the attic or storage area and place them in a central location.
Delegate! That is up to you. Wouldn’t it be fun to see how they decorate with your seasonal decor differently than you do? No? Hmmmm, that sure is a lot of work for one person. People enjoy having the freedom to share their own creativity so you may want to think about this. Personally I won’t mind if my hubby has always wanted to place our Nativity in the foyer rather than the dining room. Be open to change and thankful for the family bonding opportunity.
Visit a Christmas Tree Farm as a family event. Most Christmas Tree Farms around us also sell Hot cocoa, have some photo spots set up and provide some form of activity for the children. You can easily make this annual trip into a family tradition your children will remember forever. They will be excited to help hang ornaments on the tree when you get back home.
PLAN AT LEAST ONE SEASONAL ACTIVITY
There are usually a plethora of ideas available to go out with your family or a nice date with your sweetheart during the holiday season. My family used to all go out to the movies on Thanksgiving Day.
Pick a few of the offerings in your community and add them to your calendar. Build the excitement by reminding everyone occasionally of what is coming. Make a big Family Holidays Calendar and hang it on the refrigerator to keep everyone excited about the events you have planned. Anticipation creates excitement.
A few ideas:
- Christmas Plays at the community theater like The Nutcracker
- Local Choral performances
- Christmas light tours
- Go Ice Skating
- Visit Santa
- Special Church Services for Christmas programs
- Holiday Excursion Train Ride
- Go to the movies
- Visit a Christmas Festival
- Attend a Christmas parade
I survive the holiday season by planning ahead, making lists to stay organized, delegating where I can and creating excitement with well planned family events.
Scroll down where you will find a collection of more Holiday Survival Ideas AND our BIG GIVEAWAY entry! Visit our Sponsors, they have been quite generous this holiday season!
Take a few minutes to browse this collection of Holiday Season Survival Tips!
ENTER THE BIG GIVEAWAY!
MEET OUR SPONSORS who have generously donated fabulous prizes for the Big Christmas Giveaway!
DecoArt winner will receive a prize package valued at $100!
Dixie Crystals/Imperial Sugar winner will receive a Keurig Coffee Maker valued at $100!
Oriental Trading winner will receive an OrientalTrading.com gift card valued at $200!
Cabot Cheese winner will receive a gift basket of Cabot products valued at $75!
Burlap Fabric winner will receive a prize pack of products valued at $50!
Zulay Kitchens winner will receive one Milk Frother and a Lemon Squeezer valued at $21
It’s Home To You winner will receive one wooden Santa sign valued at $65
Giveaway begins Nov. 8, 2019 and ends Dec. 6, 2019. Winners will be notified by December 13, 2019. Sponsors will ship each prize to the winner. There will be a total of seven winners, one for each prize. Drawing is by random selection using the Rafflecopter widget.
Must be 18 to win. Open to U.S. residents only.