How to Stress Less this Holiday Season

Are you feeling it yet? The hustle and bustle of the holly jolly season that we’re about to get into? This time of the year gets ridiculously busy. If we don’t plan ahead, by the time we get to December 25th, it can feel like the “Polar Express” just zoomed right past us and we missed it. If “All you want for Christmas” is a “Silent Night” {am I going overboard yet?! Ha!}, keep reading! I put together this EPIC resource list to make this holiday season the most wonderful one yet!

This might be the year that you’re able to surprise a single mom by paying for her groceries {because you got the free Christmas budget printable and stuck to it!} You might even smile while you’re getting your nails done {in Santa Baby Red no less} because you ACTUALLY had time for it after you said no to three other things that were only going to stress you out and not add to your holiday fun!

If you’re ready to stress less and enjoy more of this holiday season, check out the links below for FREE holiday planners, printables, checklists, budget tips, a gift idea tracking app,  and more! And don’t forget to pin Houston Mom’s Blog Ultimate Guide to the Holidays in Houston :: broken down by festive lights, shows, Santa sightings, fun runs, and more!

How to STRESS Less this Holiday Season | Houston Moms Blog

STRESS LESS with these FREE Holiday Resources! 

Holiday Planners

One of my favorite resources this time of the year is the 101 days to Christmas website. I look forward to checking it every year! Once mid-September rolls around, they start a countdown with daily tips to help you tackle ALL THE THINGS on your holiday to do list, little by little. You can even sign up and they’ll send you the tips via email! 

They also have a Christmas planner section with free printables that you can use to keep track of Christmas card mailings, your baking wish list, gift planner and more!

If at this point you feel like all this planning takes the jolly out of your Holly Jolly Christmas, you might enjoy this resource — instead of stressing, you could be “Cruising through the Holidays!” This resource is from the Flylady {who is all about “FLY-ing,” as in “Finally Loving Yourself.”} She believes that, especially during the holidays, if we take baby steps, make time for self-care and speak kindly to ourselves, it’ll make a difference in our lives, our homes and in how we treat others around us. 

It makes a HUGE difference when you think ahead so you actually put the kids’ holiday parties on the calendar {and request the day off work}. And when you get a reminder to stock up on stocking stuffers early {so you can buy what’s on sale}, you get that awesome Christmas feeling {not the “when will this all be over” feeling}.

It can make the difference between being a scroogy grinch or considering Elf your spirit animal. 

Holiday Budget

Speaking of Scrooge and stocking stuffer sales, one of the BEST things we can do to stress less this holiday is to have a holiday budget. And then stick to it! Easier said than done, but these sites have tons of FREE help! One of my personal favorites, which I actually have found to be helpful in tracking our finances is the FREE Every Dollar app. If you’re familiar with money expert Dave Ramsey, you’ve probably heard of it. But it’s one way to easily track your income and spending. That way you can make sure to set aside those extra dollars that will come in handy for extra holiday expenses. 

Holiday Gift Lists & Wish Lists

This one might make you feel so much like Santa you’ll serve yourself some milk and cookies! If you’re looking for a way to track gift ideas without losing track of the budget, this Santa’s Bag app might be just what was missing from YOUR wish list … and it’s also FREE! It’s one of the top apps listed by PC Mag to help you organize your holiday gifts! 

Holiday Family Values & Activities List

If I had to pick the ONE resource that could potentially make the biggest difference, this would be it for me. The first year I tried it with our family was eye-opening. You get to actually talk about the holiday season ahead of time and truly make time for what your family cares about and loves to do {not just the things everyone expects you to do}. I never would have thought that a holiday values worksheet would make such a difference! But when there are ten gazillion holiday activities to choose from and limited time to enjoy them all, it’s important to know what will make YOUR family feel like you had the best Christmas yet … or if it leaves everyone saying “Bah, Humbug.”

For us, church is a priority and the Christmas Eve candlelight service is a highlight. My daughter sang it in one year and it’s still one of my favorite memories.

How to STRESS Less this Holiday Season | Houston Moms Blog

 

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

My daughter was in 1st grade when she sang in front of all these people at the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at Second Baptist Church. I’ll never forget it!

Our family also loves ice skating and driving around to see Christmas lights while sipping hot chocolate in the car. Those are a few of our favorite things. Your list may be different and that’s perfect! It’s all about what will make your holidays special for you. Plus Houston has so many things to do! Zoo Lights, Christmas Tree Lighting ceremonies, parades, the Festival of Lights at Moody Gardens … you don’t have to do it all! Just pick those things that are special and meaningful to you. Or try a different one every year! {Psssttt :: a great list here!}

The great thing about filling out the holiday values worksheet is that you find out what’s important to your whole family so you can actually make time for what makes the season special for each person. 

By the time New Year’s Eve rolls around, hopefully we can take a deep breath, look around at the people we love and smile with the satisfaction that we made memories, loved well and stressed {way} less.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!


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