Although this is always easier said than done, it really is key to stress free entertaining and an overall happy holiday season. Left for the last minute, everything is more stressful. Since this is the last few days, it’s time to kick into gear before those last few hours arrive.
This not only keeps one ahead of the game, but often adds an element of surprise upon opening as the giver often forgets what is wrapped where. If you are forgetful (or don’t like surprises), you may want to keep a list of what you’ve wrapped (but don’t forget to hide it from the kids).
In anticipation of some overindulging, that is bound to happen despite with the best laid plans, do not cut exercise from the plan.
Keep up with sleep, again easier said than done, but this will prevent crashing before or (gasp!) during a party.
Avoid duplications and omissions by keeping communication channels open. In general, it usually helps to talk about things anyways to get things off your chest and therefore reduce stress levels. This has many channels, but most important during December is this tidbit –> if someone truly wants to help – let them!
Be it a dessert, a flower, a candle or a carefully wrapped gift – take time to really notice the beauty in the item as this puts your mind in the present moment (and not on all you have yet to do).
Take a walk in nature, this actually works wonders most any old time of year.
They also help people to slow down and appreciate the moment, thus relieving stress.
Take time to feel from head to toe before entering a stressful situation.
Try this. Inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 4 secs, exhale for 4, hold for 4 again. Every 4 beats draw one side of a square on a paper.
Maybe a bite of cheese or a small dessert. Take one bite and take time to savor the flavor. The first bite of something sweet is usually the best and, if thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated, can often be enough to satisfy the entire craving.
Although sit down family style is often preferred and possibly more appropriate, the ease of a buffet dinner is hard to resist during busy holiday times.
If placed in front of a charcuterie board, try reaching for the fruits and nuts when going in for seconds.
Use our gift guide to order cooks gifts online.
Smell goes right to a part of the brain that attaches a memory to it, making fragrance a great relaxation tool. Essential oils in cinnamon, orange or lavender are great to have on hand and sprinkle on some potpourri. Light a holiday scented candle or simmer some spices in a slow cooker.
For quick solutions to every day kitchen problems, see our food hacks post.
Need a hostess gift? See one of our gift posts for some small gift ideas to take along to a holiday party or stuff a stocking.
Similar to food hacks, check our grocery hacks for ways to get the most from your dollar at the grocery store.
If you don’t have a tool called for in a special recipe, we’ve also got some tool hacks. Check out our new uses for old tools for alternate ways to use various other gadgets you may have in the back of your cupboards or drawers.