Creating a Life Free From Chaos

How to Survive the Busy Holiday Season

How To Survive The Busy Holiday Season * Modern SimplicityI don’t know about you, but December is by far my busiest month of the year. There’s such pressure to be all things to all people:

  • The perfect (and generous) gift giver
  • The gracious hostess
  • The devoted parent who attends all the kids’ Christmas pageants, band and choir concerts, holiday parties, and special holiday events all over town
  • The loyal daughter or son who attends all the family gatherings, even if it means flying across country to do it
  • The dedicated employee who attends all the company parties and puts in the overtime so others can celebrate with their families, hoping to grab some holiday days off yourself to spend with your own family
  • PLUS the added pressure of closing out the year and plotting out your dreams, goals, and plans for the next year.

Seriously, who can manage all that? Despite cultivating simple Christmas traditions (I even wrote a book about it) I still find myself getting overwhelmed by the societal chaos of ALL THE HOLIDAY THINGS.

We have to remember this is a choice — we CAN choose to celebrate the holiday season with more peace and margin. Click To Tweet

We have to remember this is a choice — we CAN choose to celebrate the holiday season with more peace and margin. Sure, we may make a few people angry, and it may require a bit more planning on your part, but it’s totally worth it.

What can you do to ease the chaos of the Christmas season?

So what can you do to survive the holiday season? Here are a few tips to try out:

  • Be selective about the events you attend. You don’t have to go to every party, concert, or open house you’re invited to. Choose the ones that matter most, and give a gentle, but firm “no” on the rest.
  • Consider NOT hosting your own holiday extravaganza this year. I remember the movie “Christmas with the Kranks,” in which the main characters decide to “skip” Christmas, including canceling their big annual holiday party. The neighborhood acts like this is the biggest sin in the world, but you know what? Under most circumstances, you may actually be doing your friends a favor by giving them a night off as well. Don’t be pressured into hosting if you don’t want to!
  • Shop early, and cut way back on the holiday list. You do not have to get every person you know a gift, and you do not need to get your family a whole pile of gifts. Make the gifts you give mean more by shopping thoughtfully, with the receivers’ likes and needs in mind. And if they’re on their own quest for simplicity, consider giving an experience or consumable gift instead of more “stuff.”
  • Skip the Christmas cards. Yes, some people may think this is blasphemy, but we haven’t sent physical Christmas cards in years. This decision was not taken lightly, but in the interest of simplifying and living a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Most friends and family are on Facebook anyway, so post your awesome holiday photo as a message on your Facebook timeline instead.

Why should I simplify my holidays?

If you enjoy the chaos of the holiday season (and many people do!), then great! Don’t stress thinking you have to do anything different. But if you dread the craziness that can be common this time of year, and you’re looking for a calmer holiday, then here are just some of the benefits you can look forward to as you simplify your holiday:

  • More time to spend with your loved ones, playing board games, telling stories around the dinner table, or going out together for the holiday events you really don’t want to miss.
  • Some time to yourself or to spend with your significant other, drinking cocoa by the fireplace or watching favorite holiday movies together.
  • Having the margin to celebrate the holiday the way you want to celebrate, whether that holiday includes Advent, Santa, Hanukkah, or Kwanza.
  • The energy to hop in the car after dark to drive around looking at the holiday lights that decorate your neighborhood.

Interested in a simpler holiday? What are some things you can change to calm the holiday chaos?

If you want more information about simplifying your holidays, check out my 5-day holiday challenge below, or my book, Simply Christmas, available on Amazon.

How to Survive the Busy Holiday Season