The magic of Christmas is wonderfully impractical! But the behind-the-scenes work can be such a challenge! I hope these 5 simple holiday rhythms help you find joy, peace, and freedom in your celebrations this year.
1. START WITH A CHRISTMAS BRAIN DUMP
If you have a lot of things to do, the most practical way of approaching those tasks is making a list! List everything (and I do mean everything) on your mind. Hopes, worries, expectations, budgets. Take a good look at those lists. Do you actually want to do all of these things? Can you afford to? Do you need to? Is there anything you can delegate or simply choose to not do? Anything you can simplify? Get it all out on the table.
2. KEEP SIMPLE ENTERTAINING SNACKS ON HAND
Ok. Hear me out. One of the best parts of the season is the friendship and hospitality we share with others. But sometimes that means unexpected visitors. Or a potluck party you’re not sure what to bring. Having simple snacks on hand equips you to open your home or visit others with ease. My favorite combos:
- a round of brie + simple crackers (add any fruit you have on hand for a gorgeous platter!)
- hot chocolate + peppermint sticks (cozy + festive!)
- specialty jam/jelly (like pepper jelly) + crackers + everyday cheese like cheddar
- frozen mini quiches (great for overnight guests or as an easy, crowd-pleasing appetizer)
3. PREP A FEW MEALS/INGREDIENTS FOR THE FREEZER
Can you go ahead and brown ground beef? Brown breakfast sausage for your Christmas casserole? Prepare chicken stir fry + freeze? Stock your fridge with your go-tos, because when getting the Christmas tree takes longer than you expected or you get in late from Thanksgiving because of traffic, pulling something out from the freezer just makes sense!
4. KEEP A RUNNING GIFT INVENTORY
Tracking your gifts + receipts throughout your gift-buying season is truly the gift that keeps on giving.
Why would I suggest the un-magical task of keeping an inventory?
Returns are easy for you to make or delegate.
If you keep track of gift receipts, returns are easy for the gift recipient!
No one in your posse gets too much or too little compared to others.
Wrapping is simpler (and more pleasant!!).
Your brain and body will thank you for not repeating tasks over and over and over.
HERE’S HOW TO CREATE AN INVENTORY
First, dedicate an area for gift storage. Then consider:
Are you a digital person? Think about keeping folders in your email inbox just for Christmas receipts.
Divide that folder into individual folders for each person you’ve bought for. Additionally, consider a spreadsheet or simply the notes app to keep track of family member’s gifts and your budget!
Make a tab for each person. File receipts and gift receipts in their file. Once you buy the presents, use sticky notes or labels to help you sort each person’s gifts until it’s time to wrap.
5. Schedule Time Away from Your Phone
Whether you’re team iPhone or team Android, use your phone’s features to pre-set set time away. If you don’t trust yourself, make an agreement with your family to all put away your phones for a designated time each week. Give your brain a break and enjoy what’s happening in real time! (And if you’re not enjoying your time, take the time away from your phone to observe what’s hard about this year.)
a magical Christmas review
Say it with me: brain dump, quick snacks, meal/ingredient prep, gift inventory, and phone limits. This is my recipe for a holiday season that feels less overwhelming and more magical. This year, these rhythms are making room for a new tradition: baking fresh sourdough bread (thanks, pandemic) for family gatherings!
Wishing you new traditions and a new love for old ones.