The holidays are meant to be a festive, enjoyable time with family and friends.
It’s easy to lose focus on that with all the ideas on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram images of what others are doing, and don’t get me started on that elf! Here are some simple, realistic steps that can show you how to make your holidays more enjoyable.
1. Plan a budget now if you haven’t already
Gifts, food, baking supplies, decorations, wrapping paper and more can put a pretty big dent in your wallet if you aren’t careful. If you plan a budget you can work backward and decide how much you want to spend in each category. Then, we can explore tips to stay within that budget.
2. Make a list of what you will give others
Brainstorm ideas of what you would like to give the people on your list. Think of what they like, what would be a meaningful gift, and reconsider your budget.
You can often find great deals when you start a little early and keep your eyes open.
You should also consider gifts with a purpose( – link). Gifts that give back to a charity show you put extra thought into not only giving to the person but giving to a charity they would love to support.
Knowing you gave a thoughtful gift will make your holidays more enjoyable.
3. Consider gifts you make yourself
Make your holidays more enjoyable by making some of your gifts.
Last year, my daughter and I made a few Christmas gifts. One gift was for my mother-in-law, and she loved it. It was a thoughtful gift, she could use it often, and it cost about a dollar.
What was it? Handscrub in a jar!
My sugar scrub is two ingredients: sugar and baby oil. I prefer to use either the cocoa butter or lavender scent. You can also use coconut oil, or even olive oil with a little lemon oil. Simply mix one cup sugar and 1/4 cup oil together with a spoon and then put it in a jar for your gift. I have one in each of our bathrooms.
The images above are affiliate links, so if you would like to purchase them just click on the link. This means this site will get a small percentage from the seller, but you still pay the same great price.
There are many ideas for homemade or DIY gifts on Pinterest, and all over the web. Look and see if you can find something just right for that special someone. And, make sure it helps you budget. Not all DIY is inexpensive.
4. Try to get Christmas shopping done before Thanksgiving.
You guys, this has been a lifesaver for me!
I start shopping during the summer. This way I spread out the purchases so it is easier for me to manage financially. This is especially helpful for a larger family.
Starting early also allows me to stumble upon some great finds. I often see things I wouldn’t have thought of getting had I waited until later in the year. And, of course, I find good sales and (sadly) store closings that help me stay within budget.
This has lowered my holiday stress tremendously!
I don’t want to worry about what to get someone until the last minute. I love knowing it is finished early.
This will truly make your holidays more enjoyable.
Make your holidays more enjoyable by planning ahead and lowering your stress.
Start thinking early of the different times you want to prepare something special, like any parties, or Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinner.
Then, start buying items ahead of time to help your budget and to know you have less to buy later. Obviously this only works with non-perishable or frozen items. But, every bit helps.
If you are like me, you have some family favorites you like to fix each year. But, I also like to add some new things each year. This gives me time to explore Pinterest and Food Network for more ideas.
6. Manage your time by prepping beforehand.
In a lot of cooking shows you will see the chefs start with the ingredients in little bowls ready for them to prepare the dish. This is called Mise en place, which means “everything in its place”.
When you have everything ready to go, your task will take less time.
How can you apply this to the holidays?
- Mix cookie dough ahead of time and put it in the freezer.
This will not only save you time, but you will also have fewer dirty dishes in the kitchen. I’m all for that!
Buy wrapping paper, tissue paper, tape and other needs ahead of time.
Also, save boxes that can be repurposed for your gift giving.
- Have all of your decorations organized in a way that allows you to quickly put up your holiday decor.
- Think of other things you can do in advance that will make your tasks easier in the moment.
When you are able to prep ahead of time, it will make your holidays more enjoyable.
7. Plan ways you will enjoy the season with your loved ones.
When you have so much done ahead of time, you can truly enjoy spending time in the season. Think of ways to enjoy the holidays with your loved ones.
- Go see holiday lights in towns and neighborhoods. Take a cup of hot cocoa with you.
- Do some devotionals with your family to remember the reason for the season.
- Enjoy an advent calendar.
- Make some Christmas crafts for your home and for others.
- Participate in some type of outreach, such as Angel Tree, helping in a soup kitchen, or visiting a nursing home.
When you can spend time together as a family, you will make your holidays more enjoyable.
8. Make decorations on your own.
When you make decorations personally, you can save money and they simply have more meaning.
I love going through the ornaments each year as we hang them on the tree. I see some of the silly, sweet ornaments my kids made when they were younger. Telling stories of when they were younger is pretty much a tradition of ours when it comes time to decorate the tree.
When I have my kids sit and make decorations, they enjoy the season and each other. We get to have good quality time without the tv or other technology as a barrier.
Kristyn at Lil Luna has some precious craft ideas for a variety of ages.
When your kids get to spend time with you making crafts, they will likely thank you for the decision to make your holidays more enjoyable.
9. Find ways of sharing your blessings with others.
Many of us have so many blessings in our lives. How wonderful would it be to share some of those blessings with others?
It will warm your heart and definitely make your holidays more enjoyable.
And, you will be modeling how to show kindness to others to the rest of your family. This is so important to me! Fostering Kindness is a website that helps educators, parents and the community as a whole learn more about ways to show kindness to others. I urge you to check it out. There are suggestions under the Family section for modeling kindness.
There are so many options of ways to help those in the community during the holiday season. Some are volunteering at a soup kitchen, donated canned goods, collecting and donating warm hats, mittens, and socks for the homeless, and visiting the elderly.
10. Make memories that don’t cost money.
There are always things to do with your family that cost money. But, you can easily make your holidays more enjoyable by spending less and sticking to your budget. (You didn’t forget #1 already, did you?).
Here are some ideas to get you started on your free memory-making:
Make your holidays more enjoyable
Reduce stress, spend less money, and live in a way that truly embraces the holidays. These tips are sure to help you make your holidays more enjoyable. Join our newsletter for more tips, tools, and encouragement.
Have a great day, and start planning for your holiday season!