In our house, the cozy holiday season starts September 1 and continues until January 1. Let me explain. As much as I absolutely love celebrating the holidays, I do not spend all of that time devoted to the actual celebration part.
Plan. Plan. Plan. In order for me to truly enjoy the holidays, I learned that I have to plan and get organized. I also allow for flexibility because let’s face it–life is not perfect, but sometimes that’s the best part.
The key in all of this is balance.
Focusing too much on what’s ahead often causes me to miss the present. And, when I have too much on my plate, it causes mental and financial strain (the worst!) I think this is part of the reason why so many people begin to resent the holidays.
Rightfully so–it can be too much. Oftentimes, it is one person who is the “hostess/host” for every event from the smallest to the largest. For some, it’s no big deal (if this is you… please message me… I have so many questions) but for others, it can be debilitating.
With COVID-19 present in every aspect of our lives this year, the responsibility of hosting the holiday festivities can look daunting.
Accepting that things may not look the same has been my way of coping with all of this.
This year is the time to turn off all of the extra “noise” in our lives and shift our energy towards love, simplicity, and coziness….. especially during the holidays.
Simply Cozy Holiday Season Tips
- Plan Now: Start planning! This reduces my holiday stress significantly. We plan for vacations so that it is an enjoyable time, free from stress, and financially feasible. Planning for the holidays can have the same effect. As you are planning, consider these:
- COVID-19 guidelines for gatherings. We want to keep our loved ones safe. Stay informed.
- What you always say yes to, maybe you might say no to some. If you are stressed with too many commitments, then none of them will have any meaning. “No” may also be necessary if you are not comfortable being in a gathering during the pandemic.
- Get some sort of calendar/planner, if you don’t already have one. Some love to go digital–I enjoy buying a calendar, getting new pens, and writing it all down. It is comforting for me.
- Potential Menus
- Allow flexibility
- Make Checklists: I could not function without my checklists. They help me stay focused on what I want to accomplish and what is important to me. I am reaching small goals every single time I cross off a task. This is huge stress relief!
- Keep Decorations Simple and Meaningful: I love the decorating part of the holiday seasons. It is a family event and gives me the inspiration to continue focusing on what is important. However, I do not use every single decoration that I have. I like to change things up. Giving your home that touch of the cozy holiday season, whether it is Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc., fills your environment with warmth and comfort. The big question is when should I decorate? You do you! If it makes you happy, then decorate when you feel inspired. I like to start decorating a little early so that I can enjoy it.
- Shop Early I always try to start shopping early. Once you have your planning in place, for the most part–you can start doing a little shopping. This is easier on your wallet and reduces stress. I have also found that I am more intentional with my purchases. Listen for those special gift wishes early–once you make a habit of this, it makes gift giving so much more meaningful and you are also crossing off those Christmas lists! The wrapping part is my weaker area. I often focus on everything else but wrapping. So, I end up waiting until the last minute, spending a fortune on paper, boxes, bags, tissue paper, bows, ribbon, tape, and scissors. A couple of years ago, I started picking up these items early! This little change has been huge for me. Shopping the sales at the grocery stores for non-perishables and freezable items will save you money and time in the long run, but requires planning first.
- Keep it Simple: It’s the little things that count. There is so much to be said about simplicity. When planning for your cozy holiday season festivities, keep it simple and meaningful. This has been a learning process for me, but so rewarding. I don’t find myself getting burned out early and the holidays seem to have much more meaning and a sense of coziness.
In the American culture, we carry so much on our shoulders that oftentimes, life leads us instead of us leading our own lives. We miss those meaningful moments, which create stress and anxiety as we try to keep up with the way the world is presented to us in the media.
We can easily be drowned in information overload, from social media, work expectations, extra-curricular activities for our children, and saying yes, yes, and yes to every invite or event.
This is the year for change, reinventing ourselves to be better, and creating a life with more purpose and simplicity. It is the year to let go of the unnecessary and embrace simplicity. Allowing ourselves to rest and recover is more important now than ever if we want to have a cozy holiday season.
Coziness is a time where we are comfortable and content–free from distractions. There is no way our lives can be like this constantly. But, being present and aware of what we allow to enter our minds as well as our daily lives can shift our direction to what truly matters to us and leading a more purposeful life.
These 5 simply cozy holiday season strategies are lifesavers for me, not only for the holidays but in everyday life. If you are like me–the more I have to do in my mind, the more distracted and overwhelmed I get and lose sight of what is important.
When we focus on what is important, we are giving a gift to ourselves, our family, and friends. We are present. And, everyone leaves with a feeling of warmth and well-being.
No matter how you celebrate the holidays, enjoy them. Time is precious.