Six Tips for Staying Sane During the Holidays

Thank you to Macy’s and ShopStyle for sponsoring today’s post!

I think most of us love the holidays, but the season doesn’t come without it’s share of stresses and trigger points.  This time of year is festive, joyful and fun at best, but at worst, it can be lonely, stressful or downright depressing.  I’m not immune from experiencing every one of those feelings at some point.  I credit my faith, family, and keeping a positive attitude for not letting the ‘down’ moments ruin the holiday season.

If you need a bottle of wine, few tips to get you through the holidays without losing your mind, read on!  These are six of my best tips for staying sane during the holidays!

6 TIPS FOR STAYING SANE DURING THE HOLIDAYS

1. FOCUS ON WHAT MATTERS

Every year, I try to focus on those things that matter, our savior that came in the form of a perfect little baby.

It’s Jesus’ birthday and I owe my life to Him.  When I began my adult relationship with Him, it was like a light turned on in my life.  I’ve gotten away from the devotion I used to do daily, but I’m so grateful that HE is always there, waiting for me to return to HIM.

It’s a new day every day and one of my favorite verses is: This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

Similar Blanket

2. DON’T TRY TO DO TOO MUCH

I used to have a looong list of all the fun things I wanted our family to do during the holidays, but I never was able to get to everything, which left me feeling disappointed.

Over the years, I’ve gotten smarter about sticking with the things our family enjoys most and letting other options go.  There’s only so much time in the day anyway, and when you add in shopping, parties, decorating, wrapping, cooking/baking, visiting Santa, there’s just not enough time to do everything (without stressing out).

In order to keep stress low and enjoyment high, I’m sticking to a few favorite traditions and just enjoying those.  We love decorating the house, baking together, going to see Christmas lights, battle Christmas Cookie on Christmas Eve, and things like that.

Family Christmas Pajamas (2)

Mom’s PJs • James’ PJs • Jordan’s PJs

We always dress up in our holiday jammies and go look at Christmas lights while drinking hot cocoa and that is one of my favorite things to do.  There are neighborhoods near us that really go all out and it’s truly a sight to behold.

Our cute pajamas are from Macy’s this year.  I’m so crazy for Jordan’s little plaid nightgown and James’ two piece set.  Mine are super soft and cozy too.

I took these two with me to shop when I picked these pajamas out, and I almost had to pretend they weren’t mine the way they were running around the store like wild monkeys!  I spotted this festive plaid and was so happy to see it came in coordinating colors for the whole family.

And good news: Get 30% off Macy’s during their Friends and Family sale with code FRIEND! 

James is normally at school when we take pictures, so I was thrilled he got to be in these and actually wanted to!  Eight year olds can be tricky when it comes to getting their pictures taken.  But as you can see, he was really into this! 😉

Family Christmas Pajamas

Our Bed

3.  MAKE A LIST AND CHECK IT TWICE

Even though you don’t want to over commit, you will likely still have places to go and people to see, things to buy and do and make.  My advice is to do a big brain dump of all the things you need to do, then break it into tasks.  My holiday planner has these important pages in it:

  • December Calendar
    • Put up Tree
    • Decorate
    • Parties
    • Visit Santa
    • Look at Lights
    • Classroom Party
    • Send Christmas Cards
    • Days off school
  • Gifts
    • Recipient
    • Item
    • Cost
  • Donations
  • Parties
    • When/Where
    • What to Bring
    • What to Wear
  • Christmas Dinner
    • Time to clean
    • Menu
    • Grocery Prep
    • Decor

4. SPEND WISELY

I shared this in my Weekend Newsletter a few weeks ago and got lots of Thank You’s for it, so I’ll share it here as well.

Family Christmas Pajamas Plaid

James’ PJs • Jordan’s PJs

I wouldn’t be true to my values if I didn’t caution you to be careful to not spend more than you can comfortably afford on gifts.  I’ve been there myself and know that it’s not worth the stress and financial heartache it causes afterwards.

Growing up, I still remember the struggle and my parents waiting for that December 15th paycheck to arrive so they could by toys for Christmas.   I was so young, but I could still feel the angst.

I have lots of gift guides that I love to create for you, I’m happy to share the sales and my goal is always to make it fun, but for me to do so responsibly, I feel compelled to share my heart that I realize that the gifts aren’t the important part.  They can be fun and we love to give, but it’s no fun if the giving causes more stress than joy.

Family Christmas Pajamas Plaid (1)

For me, it’s the hardest with my kids.  I want them to know and feel how much I love them, and I still have a hard time not going overboard on gifts at Christmas as a way of showing my love.  I’m a work in progress.

Family Christmas Pajamas

Mom’s PJs • James’ PJs • Jordan’s PJs

5. EXERCISE

All year round, but especially in December, it’s important to make time for exercise.  We’re likely indulging in lots of yummy food and drinks during the holidays, and we don’t want to get to January 1 with 10 pounds to lose.  It doesn’t have to be an hour at the gym, but even a 20 minute walk will do you so good.  It will help clear your mind, ease anxiety and make you feel great!

Christmas family pajamas

Mom’s Onesie • James’ PJs • Jordan’s PJs

Does jumping on the bed count?!

Family Christmas Pajamas (2)

Our Bed

6. KEEP A POSITIVE ATTITUDE

If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that something will go wrong in December.  An order will arrive late, a family member will frustrate you, your kids will whine, dinner will burn . . .

Just smile, breathe and take it in stride.  It’s not the end of the world.  And if that fails, go grab that bottle of wine!

MORE CUTE HOLIDAY PAJAMAS

How are y’all doing with the holidays so far? I hope these tips help and that it’s a merry time of year for you!

 

 

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25 Comments

  1. Olga Hyre
    December 6, 2018 / 5:34 am

    I love love your post and you are so inspirational. You by far are my fav blogger! Thank you for taking the time and heart to write these post!

    • Megan
      Author
      December 6, 2018 / 12:44 pm

      Olga, that is so so sweet! It really means so much to me because I know how many amazing blogs are out there!

  2. December 6, 2018 / 7:16 am

    I didn’t get past #1! I had to scroll past all the others to tell you how much I Love your devotion to our Lord!! The fact that you are so open and honest about your relationship with Him, is so heart warming <3 I strongly believe you are in His favor, for that reason!! I've been with you for a few years, so I have seen you grow. Keep doing what you're doing friend, and He will continue to Bless you 🙂 Okay, now I need to read the other tips 😉
    Gods Blessings <3

    • Megan
      Author
      December 6, 2018 / 12:42 pm

      Thank you so much for that Crystal! I really appreciate you!

  3. December 6, 2018 / 8:04 am

    It can definitely get rough around the holidays whether it’s after losing a loved one or not feeling like you can do it all or can’t provide all the gifts you want to financially, but like you said I focus on Jesus and celebrating Him. It takes nothing for a Christmas song to bring me to tears! And even tho they can be super corny, I find a good Hallmark Christmas movie really helps to put a little cheer back into the season 🙂 I love these pics of the kids and Jordan makes me smile with her excitement! My kids are officially tweens now so I appreciate you sharing your younger kiddos with us. I’ll take toddler smiles over teenage attitudes any day 🙂

    • Megan
      Author
      December 6, 2018 / 12:43 pm

      Oh those Hallmark movies get me every time! Oh man, those toddler vs. teenager years- I’m not ready for that! Jordan is already 2 going on 12!

  4. Kim
    December 6, 2018 / 8:12 am

    Can I say “Ditto” like in Ghost bc the two comments above wrote exactly what I am thinking. What a heart felt post that truly focuses on your readers and reminding us of this holiday season is about. Thank you!

    • Megan
      Author
      December 6, 2018 / 12:42 pm

      Thanks so much Kim!

  5. Rachel Steck
    December 6, 2018 / 8:14 am

    Very good advice/tips – thank you.
    Tell James that I LOVE his haircut.

    • Megan
      Author
      December 6, 2018 / 12:42 pm

      I will, thanks Rachel!

  6. December 6, 2018 / 8:28 am

    Great advice – and thank you for your faith and rejoicing in the day ! With no children our holidays are simple…and getting more so. We started giving “experiences” instead of gifts as everyone we know is starting to downsize. Love the emphasis we now have on being together and enjoying each other’s company. Enjoy your blog and it looks like you and your family will have a wonderful holiday. Blessings !

    • Megan
      Author
      December 6, 2018 / 12:42 pm

      I really love those experience type gifts too! So much better when everyone already has so much stuff! Happy holidays to you too Ann!

  7. lilly
    December 6, 2018 / 9:03 am

    love these reminders because it does get very crazy around the holidays. good thoughts about what’s important and what matters most! happy holidays!

    PS: yeah, I will be grabbing that bottle of wine….. :O

    • Megan
      Author
      December 6, 2018 / 12:41 pm

      Oh yes, all about that wine! 😉

  8. caitlin
    December 6, 2018 / 9:50 am

    oh my goodness James’ eyes are so striking! What a beautiful child! 🙂 And of course Jordan too 🙂

    • Megan
      Author
      December 6, 2018 / 12:41 pm

      Thanks so much Caitlin! I don’t know where he got those blue eyes! Maybe Grandma!

  9. Patti
    December 6, 2018 / 10:32 am

    thank you. I honestly need more reminders about ways to enjoy to the holiday than what to buy. I do my best to be aware but it seems like I always end up buying more than I intended to (for my kids, for the same reasons you gave!) and I end up feeling down along with the happiness and joy I feel during the season as well!

    • Megan
      Author
      December 6, 2018 / 12:40 pm

      I think we all struggle with that. I’m trying to get better about it!

  10. Aubret
    December 6, 2018 / 3:31 pm

    Love these tips and needed to read this. We are all about keeping it simple this year, as we’ve gone way overboard in the past and regretted it. Not to mention, the stress! This year I plan on saying no a lot more and spending most of our time at home with the people I love the most❤️

    • Megan
      Author
      December 8, 2018 / 8:36 am

      Sounds like you have the right idea. I’m right there with ya!

  11. Leigh Peterson
    December 6, 2018 / 3:42 pm

    I love these tips! Sometimes I lose sight of the true meaning of the season because I’m so caught up in the hustle. My goal this year is to enjoy the precious time with my family. I live in FL, and I do not like spending Christmas here, it’s just too warm! But I will try to put that aside and be grateful that I can celebrate with my sisters, their families, and that we are all healthy.

  12. Tracy Suzanne DeLoach
    December 7, 2018 / 2:52 am

    I love your list. It really helps me to really stay on top of things when I use them. If I can do that then I feel like I can engage more with the joy of the season, even if it’s just sitting back and enjoying the tree and remembering why we are really celebrating. It turns a busy, overwelming time into a truly peaceful time. You children are adorable and so are the jammies!

  13. Lindsay C
    December 7, 2018 / 2:55 pm

    I love all of your thoughts. You definitely shared things I was needing to read as of late. It is so hard not to get all caught up in the Christmas shopping and money spending. I have tried to simplify some of our traditions this year and focus more on my families needs. We have all been healthier and I have been able to stay on top of normal to-do’s that I usually forget about this time of year- from scheduling carpet cleaning to laundry lol

    • Megan
      Author
      December 8, 2018 / 8:35 am

      That’s exactly how I feel! And I’m off to start my laundry right now! Have a great weekend!

  14. Dawn
    December 9, 2018 / 12:57 pm

    #1 was my favorite . . . He is the reason for the season! My children are not so little anymore but I do remember how much they watched what my husband I did and they saw what was important in our lives. I’m always mindful of when they were little and their minds and hearts were like sponges, taking in all they saw and heard, especially from Mommy and Daddy. Focusing on what is truly important, Jesus, family and making a point to give to those in need, will be the lasting memories your children have of Christmas, your family and their childhood.

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