Towards the end of summer, I find myself repeating this phrase. “This is the last time I will relax until after the New Year.” I say that because Cash’s birthday is in December so the holidays are a little crazy around here. Trav’s family lives in Palm Springs and my family lives in Orange County. Typically we start celebrating the holidays around the 17th of November to celebrate with everyone. The holidays should be a time of celebration but to me they’re so much work! I know I’m probably preaching to the choir here but juggling daily life responsibilities along with the added holiday responsibilities is exhausting. That could be because I’m the kind of person who thinks one day at a time; that’s all my brain can handle most days.
But not this year…
This year I am putting my foot down on my holiday stress. This year I am coming in a seasoned mom, prepared to enjoy the holidays with her family. I won’t be going to the grocery store at 11pm because I forgot the butter or rush shipping coordinating Christmas outfits for the family because I waited till December to think about it. And I am definitely not stepping foot into a mall during the month of December. Want to know how I’m going to do it? It’s simple; I’m starting early.
My holiday radar is already on at full speed. I know the responsibilities I have coming up and I’m planning ahead…way ahead!
Here are 11 ways I’m Having a Stress-Free Holiday Season
1. Stock up and save money.
I know I’m going to need all kinds of gift wrap so I stocked up the day it hit the shelves. I got wrapping paper, tape, wine gift bags, ribbon, and clothing boxes. Most stores have crazy deals for Christmas decor right now. But as soon as Christmas is in full effect, all those items will go back to full price. I would rather have too much than not enough so I bought extra because it was on sale. Plus if I don’t use it again, I can pack it away and use it next year. The holidays will always be here to haunt us!
Also, Sam’s Club is having awesome instant rebates on certain items until November 25, like the Gillette Pro-Shield Razor and the Oral-B 6000 2-pack rechargeable toothbrush. If you know where the deals are, you can shop and save big!
2. Focus on what you’re going to look like.
It might seem super crazy buying a fancy dress for your husband’s company party in the beginning of November but trust me, you’ll be so much less stressed knowing it’s one less thing on your mind. Plus saving money because you can choose standard shipping over expedited shipping. You could even be “that girl” who has time to get her outfit custom tailored to fit her body. I know, that’s a little overboard, but you have that option if you order early!
On a side note, I also just scheduled my hair appointment (those book up so fast for the holidays), botox appointment, and treated myself to a new Oral-B Pro 6000 to make sure I’m looking fly this holiday season. It came in a two pack so I discretely got Trav holiday ready too by giving him the other one. They’re originally $149.98 but now through November 25th, you’ll get an instant rebate of $30, making it only $119.98 for two Oral-B 6000 rechargeable toothbrushes with bluetooth connectivity.
3. Focus on what your family is going to look like.
It’s going to look a little odd if you’re walking around looking like Jackie Kennedy all beautiful in her preplanned outfits and wrinkle-free face when your family looks a little less put together; so hook them up too! I just got Trav a new Gillette Pro-Shield from Sam’s Club that comes with an Art of Shaving handle and 11 replacement blades. The Gillette Pro-Shield is regularly priced at $42.98 but with the instant $5 savings, its only $37.98 until November 25th.
I’m also keeping an eye out for a nice shirt for Trav to wear over the holidays and a cute outfit for Cash to wear. I’m hoping the weather in Orange County cools down a bit so we can actually wear cute sweaters this year.
4. Figure out what side dishes you’re bringing.
We live in the over-achieving age of Pinterest where we all feel like we need to show up with some perfect dish. I’m all for bringing hand made sugar cookies that are hand-cut into cute little turkeys that I spent hours decorating with homemade frosting but let’s be smart about it and plan for it! I was raised to never show up to a party empty handed, so I always bring something to every gathering. I admit it was odd in my college days when I would show up with snacks to a frat party, but I think every one still appreciated it.
5. Keep a flexible mindset.
Even with all this planning and preparing, things go wrong. Especially when you add kids, family members, traffic, wine, etc., things happen. Try to focus on the bigger picture that Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Years are about the people you’re with. When things get stressful, take a minute to yourself and let it go. Nothing is worth ruining the holidays over. \
6. Have a backup plan.
Another benefit of planning is having a backup plan. Made from scratch cupcakes always taste better but if you accidentally use salt instead of sugar; have a backup plan. While you’re out shopping for all the ingredients, grab a box of pre made cake mix too…just in case.
7. Organize gift giving.
Who are you buying gifts for this year? What will you get them? How much will you spend? These are all great things to think about before Black Friday and Cyber Monday where you can save extra on gifts and get them wrapped before December 1st. I’m not gonna lie, I love my new Oral-B Pro 6000 so much I’m gonna get one as a gift for Trav’s parents with the instant rebate.
8. Don’t go into debt.
When I was little, my mom told me the story of Saint Nick. I knew from about 3 years old that Santa wasn’t real. Christmas was never about the presents for me. My fondest memories were unwrapping ornaments and decorating the tree. I remember the smell of the vanilla candles my mom burns only during the holidays. And most of all, I remember the little traditions my mom did every year to make Christmas magical.
So I’ll never understand why so many people go into debt every year for Christmas. It shouldn’t be about the gifts but the memories. I think a lot of stress comes from finances and how much money we spend in such a short amount of time.
One word to describe me: INDEPENDENT. I would rather take all the stress, bottle it up, and do the work myself rather than bring anyone else down with me. I realize now as I wrote that out, It’s not the smartest sentence I’ve ever spoken, but it’s the truth. Us women tend to carry around this large burden of the holidays without asking for help and we need to. Give your husband, your boyfriend, your kids, your whatever age-appropriate tasks to lighten your load.
10. Know your vice.
Chances are, I’m still going to experience some stress. I’m hoping far less than previous years but I’m only human…and an anxiety prone human on top of that. So like I said, know your vice. Find time for yourself and do what helps you unwind. Take a walk, use some calming essential oils, pour yourself a glass of wine, take a break and watch a show. Whatever it is that makes you feel like the boss human you are is what your “Holiday Vice” is, and do it.
11. Have family night.
Before you get all sassy with me saying you just spent all this time with your family, let me tell you. You just spent time with your extended family so don’t forget your immediate family, your bread and butter. Have a night where you guys just hang out together away from the madness, maybe with some pizza and movies or tacos and ice skating. Whatever brings you all back as a family unit, do it!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Oral-B and Gillette at Sam’s Club. The opinions and text are all mine.