The holidays are special yet hectic for most of us. If you are hosting one of the holiday celebrations, your responsibilities are doubled. Staying sane during the holidays is a challenge. There are ways to maintain sanity and organization during the holidays.
Keep Entertaining Simple
My family used to have one celebration for Christmas Eve at my sister and brother in-law’s house and my husband and I would host even more people on Christmas Day. By the time Christmas Day rolled around, we would inevitably be exhausted from the celebration the night before and from preparing the house and meal for Christmas Day.
Maintaining sanity during the holidays involves simplifying your celebration. What we changed in our family tradition was to eliminate the Christmas Eve party and have my sister and brother in law help us with the Christmas Day celebration. This way, there is less work for all of us and chip in with the food preparations and costs.
Some suggestions for keeping entertaining simple is to combine Christmas Eve and Christmas Day celebrations, enlist the help of other family members or have everything catered. If catering is not an option, one dish meals such as beef goulash with spaetzle noodles on the side make an easy main course (that’s what we have made in the past).
Keep Gift Giving Simple
Gift giving can be a major cause of stress. To maintain sanity during the holidays, start as soon as possible right before Thanksgiving with your gift list. If you have children on your list, ask their parents if they would like to receive a gift card from a toy store such as Toys R Us (www.toysrus.com). Parents will love having a gift card to use after the holidays, when the kids have grown bored of their Christmas toys.
Adults will also appreciate gift cards or gift certificates. My mother always gives a gift certificate from a local restaurant to me and my husband as our holiday gift. This is a thoughtful idea, as it gives a couple something to look forward to after the holidays wind down.
If gift cards aren’t acceptable in your family, shopping online is the next best way to stay sane during the holidays. Avoid the malls at all costs! Many online stores offer free shipping during the holiday season.
Keep Your Schedule Flexible
Maintaining sanity during the holidays can be tough if you commit to too many social engagements. If you have kids, you will have to worry about holiday parties for the kids activities (usually dance, karate and gymnastics schools have holiday parties) and their class parties.
Don’t forget about your own friends’ holiday parties and work functions. Only agree to those parties which you really want to attend and are not obligated to prepare any food or bring anything. You want to have some down time during the holidays so that you can enjoy the season.
Lastly, don’t forget to have fun and treasure the time with your family and friends. The holidays always come and go so quickly and if you can maintain your sanity during the holidays, you will be able to enjoy them even more.