a few simple holiday tips to make the season less stressful more joyful

The holidays are the BEST time of year but obviously, there’s a ton going on – shopping for gifts, holiday events, decorating, etc. It can all be kind of stressful! Here are some of my tips for making the season as joyful as possible!

Don’t feel the need to decorate the whole house
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with decorating an entire house for the holidays. That’s why I choose just a few areas to focus on. This year, it was basically just the mantle, our kitchen shelves and the family room/tree area. I did need some new stuff this year but I didn’t feel like I had to go absolutely crazy trying to fill each and every inch of our house since I knew I only wanted to focus on those spaces. I’m sure our Christmas decor will accumulate over time and allow us to decorate more rooms in the house but for now, this works perfectly!

^^^ An almost free decor hack – use leftover Christmas wrapping paper in frames!

And, call me a scrooge but I really prefer when my holiday decor matches the rest of my house. It makes it feel way less cluttered!

Shop your home
Your home is the best store! Before you buy any new holiday decor, look at what you already have. Because these items typically get pulled out only once a year, it’s easy to forget what you already own.

It’s not all about the decor…
If I’m not really in the holiday spirit, I light a pine-scented candle and throw on some Christmas tunes and my mood is instantly transformed.

Winter cleaning is the new spring cleaning! I find it really helpful to spend some time in December going through things, especially my kids toys and clothes, and purging, donating or storing them. It’s the perfect time to get rid of things that are no longer used and it definitely makes things feel a bit less cluttered. Not to mention, it makes some room for a couple new things! 🙂

Create a wrapping station
Each year, a bucket or bin in our house gets turned into a “wrapping station” where I store scissors, tape, wrapping paper, ribbon, tags, etc. With the exception of my kids gifts, I like to wrap as I get them and this makes it super easy! Everything I need is all in one place and it even looks kind of cute sitting out!

Speaking of wrapping paper, I have found that the BEST place to buy is at TJMaxx and Marshall’s. I try to go early in the season while they still have a ton in stock and have always gotten the best deals (like $2/roll for great quality/thick paper!). Everything you see pictured I got this year either from TJMaxx or Target Dollar Spot.

Make a memory instead of buying a gift
We’ve been doing this more and more lately. DO something with the people you love instead of buying them a gift – a trip to the zoo, a weekend getaway or even just a quick double date. Not only does it take the gift-buying pressure off, the memories created are better than any tangible gift!

Don’t compare
Open Instagram and you’ll see perfect house after perfect house decked out for the holidays. You’ll see other people’s Christmas traditions. You’ll see piles of presents under a flawlessly decorated tree. You’ll see families doing all kinds of fun holiday activities. While it’s all definitely fun to look at (and inspiring!), the comparison struggle can be real this time of year. Am I doing enough? Am I appreciative enough? Is Christmas magical enough for my kids? I just try to remember that social media is the highlight reel of most people’s lives. It’s a lot of the good and not a lot of the bad. Just try to remember what the season is all about and enjoy time with your loved ones!

What makes the holidays enjoyable for you? Please share!

Most photos by Little Bit Perfect