It is officially December 1st, and the holiday season is upon us. This holiday season I have vowed to reduce my stress, and enjoy more time with family and friends. One of the most draining parts of the holidays is shopping. The malls are packed, parking is a nightmare, and being 30 weeks pregnant with twins, I am finding it harder and harder to waddle long distances. Another stress that comes along with shopping, that many people are afraid to talk about, is the financial strain of the holidays. So why do we do it?
For my husband and I, this year has brought about wonderful, but HUGE life changes. We had the surprise of conceiving twins, but that came along with needing to move to a bigger place, undertaking a number of renovations and preparing for not one, but two babies. Maybe it is my hormonal state, but we decided to de-stress our holidays this year in a big way.
So, what does that really mean?
First, we sat down with our family and discussed the gifting situation. Every year we spend a lot of unnecessary money on christmas gifts. It is especially silly when we just pick out our gifts and tell each other to buy them. This year we decided to simplify. We are buying each other $20 presents. Something small to open on Christmas morning. This helps to take the stress out of spending large sums of money on gifts, and the feeling the need to search endlessly online and at the mall.
Second, plan ahead. This one has so far served me very well this holiday season. I sat down and planned out my christmas shopping, as well as tasks I want to complete related to christmas, such as baking. Writing it all down in a list, planning my time, and doing some things ahead of time. My christmas shopping I have been conscious of completing ahead of time to save some stress closer to the holidays. I have also heavily used online shopping for many gifts to reduce the amount of mall waddling. With $20 limit it really reduced the amount of overall shopping I needed to do.
Third, the dreaded social obligations. Now, this one is a tough one to navigate. Everyone I talk to always stresses about all the social obligations they have to attend. My husband and I this year decided if social obligations are going to cause us more stress then fun, then is it worth even going? Last year, we had a number of back to back Christmas parties, sometimes multiple in one night. This year, we decided to attend the events that are most meaningful, and graciously decline some invites that would over complicate our schedule. Again, my waddling being what it is right now, I am not sure I can handle an overly crammed social schedule this year (at least not without copious amounts of naps).
Fourth, taking time for ourselves. My poor husband has a very hectic schedule leading into the holidays, with working longer hours at work and renovations around the house. We vowed that especially prior to the arrival of our twins we will take what time we do have and have quality time together. Something we did somewhat recently was start preparing the nursery together. Doing tasks together related to the twins has really helped us bond. We also take time to just be together, even if it means just watching a movie together.
So far, de-stressing of the holidays has been going well, and I hope to continue this trend all the way through to the New Year. In the mean time, I wish you all a very happy and stress-free holiday season.
Let me know if you have any additional tips for de-stressing your pre-holiday season?
Hubs and I enjoying a quiet night together 🙂
Image Source: https://www.joshuanhook.com/abcs-dealing-holiday-stress/