1. Take some time to reflect on your desires for the season. What things are most important to you? What can you let go of? What parts of this season really stress you out and what parts really bring life to you?
2. Clear your calendar. If you are like us, you are probably committing to way too much over the month of December. Along with all of the parties, events, and celebrations, we often feel the pressure to have our house decorated by a certain time, food cooked, guests rooms ready for out of town guests, Christmas shopping done, and presents wrapped. It can be exhausting just thinking about it.
3. Delegate. If you have a willing husband and kiddos, put them to work. Let the kids help with things like hanging stockings on their hooks, wrapping presents (who cares if the wrapping isn't pristine?), and using cookie cutters to cut out Christmas cookies. If you have family coming in town, ask them to help with the cooking--It's always more fun to have a friend in the kitchen with you and usually people want to be of help. If you don't have family in town, host a "Decorating Party" and invite friends over for Egg Nog and to help you decorate your house and string lights.
4. Do good. Make a point to turn your focus on others during the Holidays. Volunteer as a family, purchase angel tree gifts (and let your kids help you pick out the gifts), make a meal for an elderly neighbor who doesn't have family in town, or donate lightly used coats to a homeless shelter. Taking the time to remember those around us who are lonely or struggling helps us remember the point of Christmas.
5. Cut back on social media. Be purposeful in spending time with loved ones rather than browsing Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram for hours. Skype a friend or family member that lives far away, write a letter to a grandparent (include pictures!), grab coffee with a friend, schedule a play date, or split a babysitter and double date with another couple. Spend your time wisely and push through that to-do list so that you can get to the fun stuff!