Christmas tree

21 Cheap and Easy Ways to a Stress-free Christmas Holidays

100 days before Christmas may sound forever and a day.

Fast forward 3 months, it feels like a blink of an eye.

The kids will say…

“Hooray! Christmas is coming!!!”

With so much energy and excitement.

Needless to say, they have one thousand and one reasons to be excited about the Christmas season.

They are on a long Christmas holiday vacation. They get thrilled with the magic of Christmas decorations. They look forward to the presents and presence of families, friends, and most especially the Great Big Man in Red, Santa Claus.

On the other side, adults will say…

“What? Christmas is coming already?!!!”

With a great sound of amusement and weight.

For grown-ups, the meaning of this season may change.

As adults, we may move up from being a gift receiver to a gift-giver; but, the enthusiasm and the appreciation, as well as the importance that this time of year brings, will never fade.

To some, like us, it is a sacred religious celebration (birth of Jesus Christ, a religious leader glorified in Christianity) and to others, (in the absence of religion) it is a societal and commercial phenomenon.

Whatever reasons there may be, it is apparent that the details that we need to attend during this season may be quite overwhelming to many.

Most people are frazzled just the thought of the things that they need to do to survive a truly Merry Christmas feast.

If you are feeling the pressure of this festive season and want to relieve that load, search no more as I am presenting to you the 21 simple and economical ways you need to try for complete stress-free Christmas holidays:

 

1. Remember the ultimate reason for this season

2. Connect with people that matter most to you

3. Picture the Christmas you want

4. Make a plan A

5. Prepare for possible plan B and C…

6. Make a Christmas gift list

7. Set a realistic budget

8. Listen to Christmas carols

9. Get gift ideas

10. Skip lavish treats or gifts

11. Don’t over commit

12. Organize potluck meals

13. Avoid Christmas rush

14. Take advantage of after Christmas sale (Boxing Day Sale)

15. Express it through ecards and emails

16. Smell some aroma

17. Reuse, recycle, repurpose

18. Make decorating and gift wrapping a family event

19. Breathe

20. Short walk challenge

21. Enjoy the season

 

nativity1. Remember the ultimate reason for this season

Christmas is exciting for youngsters and for the young at heart.

I love the spirit it brings to everyone especially to the kids around me. However, as I enriched my experience and social interaction with different backgrounds, I have come to realize that these norms and feelings towards this occasion are not always 100% true. Different factors and situations may affect the moods of different people towards this special day.

I know others just thinking about the hustles and bustles of this celebration, they unknowingly cringe and their breath goes deeper. Because they focus more on the hassles than the essence of this occasion.  If you are feeling this way, you need to stop right there. Drop that clutter in your thoughts and reflect on the greatest reason for this meaningful holiday.

A good way to pivot your thoughts is to share your time and blessings to others. I always remind my kids that Christmas is not just about receiving, it’s about loving, giving (also forgiving), and sharing, both materials and non-material things, to our loved ones and to those who need them. These, in essence, are the true spirits and ultimate reasons for Christmas.

 

Family next to Christmas tree2. Connect with people that matter most to you

For Christians and non-Christians, Christmas is a season of love, happiness, and an opportunity for forgiving.
It’s also a special time set aside in a year to take a well-deserved holiday break and to connect with families and friends, locally or over the sea.
It makes it extra special to remember family traditions, either common ones or unique to your culture, that you only get to do during this time of the year.

 

3. Picture the Christmas you want

Allow yourself to imagine enjoying the perfect Christmas you want without the stress. Create a clear picture in your head.

Is it a simple get together at the comfort of your home with your family and friends having a ball over scrumptious meals and great company? Or is it a Christmas getaway – a white Christmas holiday in the snow or a warm Christmas break on an island?

Whichever you choose, you have something to look forward that will comfort you and calm the chaos in your head.

 

Christmas planning4. Make a plan A

A simple way to set your plan is using the S.M.A.R.T. approach. Being Specific on goals that you can Measure and Achieve on a Realistic Timeframe.

Organize your Christmas by making your thoughts into a plan and making it happen. Make a list of the things you need to achieve with a specific timeframe to get ready for Christmas day.

If you are bringing together your family and friends into your home for Christmas lunch or dinner, list down the foods you wish to make yourself and the foods you are opting to buy elsewhere. Outline the activities, such as games or bucket lists for Christmas you wish to do with the family.

 

5. Prepare for possible plan B and C…

It may sound weird to see this on the list but I guess this has become a normal trick during this year of pandemic. Lots of well-designed plans have been cancelled and re-planned. Though we don’t often wish to jinx our plans, it’s good to have this in mind every now and again to avoid further stress and disappointments.

 

Christmas Gift List Planner6. Make a Christmas gift list

Christmas shopping is one of the hardest works of this festivity. To ease your mind about who to buy gifts and what gifts to buy, or a guide of what you have bought in the past years, having a Christmas gift list will help.

You can either use printable planners or apps to help you organize in this manner. I’ve been using this free android free app, Christmas List, for a couple of years now to help me plan what I will be buying and remember what I have bought in the past years. It’s a very simple tool to help me remember who and what gifts to buy, to stick on my budget and to prevent duplication of presents from previous years.

To help you organize your Christmas, get this FREE 12-page Christmas planner – includes a countdown, timeline checklist, party planner, party guest list, bucket list, gift planner, card planner, gift wishlists and recipe planner.

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Choir singing Christmas carols7. Listen to Christmas carols

If you are feeling stressed out or lonely preparing the way for this momentous time of the year, why not listen to your favourite Christmas songs.  Try listening more on the happy festive carols than the gloomy Christmas tunes.  This will help you discourage feeling overwhelmed and the chances of feeling homesickness particularly if you are away from your own family and home. I enjoy and get excited listening to Christmas carols as soon as the *ber month arrives, no doubt I am a traditional Filipino in nature and at heart.

 

8. Set a realistic budget

This is one of the basics of a stress-free Christmas celebration – to have a financially stress-free holiday.

To prevent unnecessary stress when it comes to financial aspects during this season, make sure to set reasonable boundaries for your outgoing finances based on your situation. This includes the foods you’ll have on the table, the gifts you are to give, and the holiday you wish to indulge. Assess your current situation, perhaps whatever you had in the past years may not be as practical to have this year.  Try to be realistic about what you can commit budget-wise.

 

Gifts under Christmas tree9. Get gift ideas

In the present age when we can just Google and search our life away in an instant, it is very handy to get a hold of Christmas gift ideas available on the internet. There will be no time wasted doing window shopping or checking on what’s in your favourite store.

But, one of the sure ways to get an idea is to ask the person himself/herself you are planning to give a present to. This trick is very convenient for families and close friends.

The surprise factor may not be there but you are going to be sure that they will enjoy, like, and use your gift.

I do ask my kids to write down their Christmas wish list just so I can make sure to have it ticked off on their list and grant them on the big day either by us or by friends who wish to gift them something. It’s a good way to save you from giving and receiving unwanted gifts.

 

collect moments not things10. Skip lavish gifts or treats

Are you fond of giving over-the-top gifts or treats?

There will always be a stage when we want to shower our loved ones with extremely extravagant presents. But sometimes, it could potentially be one of the sources of pressure you are feeling during this season. Because in your mind the one you gifted the other year has to be outdone by the one last year and has to be topped this year as well and the following years to come. So, you may want to step back a little and to play it simple this year to lessen the weight on your chest and shoulder, and not to mention your wallet or bank account.

It’s good to have this in mind – to our families and loved ones, love is spelled as T-I-M-E, it’s more valuable to share the gift of moments than the gift of things.

 

11. Don’t over commit

Christmas is the most popular season for parties and get-togethers. Different parties are scheduled with families, work, friends, church, and other connections alike. If you have quite good relationships with all of them, expect to get invitations from a couple or even all of those functions.

Before you tempt to say yes to all requests, gauge yourself if you are genuinely happy to attend to those gatherings.  And say yes only if it will not cause you unnecessary headaches in terms of preparation, time, and availability.

The best recipe is prioritizing to avoid over-committing.

 

Christmas meals on the table12. Organize potluck meals

We already know that Christmas equals parties. And parties equal foods.

If you are going to be the host of this year’s Christmas family party (given no restrictions in place), you will need to prepare traditional foods, you may buy ready-made ones, or you may try some new recipes to share with the whole family. To lessen your load, why not chat to each household who is attending the party. Discuss and agree on what each family can bring as a potluck for the occasion. In this way, you are saving yourself some guessing work of what to cook and the possibility of meal overlaps. This will massively save your time and you’ll have more time to attend to other details that matter to you the most in preparation for this noteworthy social event.

 

Christmas Planner13. Avoid Christmas rush

This is a crystal clear trick. If you have experienced a mad rush Christmas shopping or holidaying. You know what I mean.

Like in every situation, rushing causes unnecessary stress. No one likes the feeling of being rushed. The best way to avoid this nasty feeling is to ORGANIZE the things that we need to accomplish. Each person varies on stress tolerance level; some can get organized even a few days until Christmas, others prefer weeks or months before the big day.

To help you organize your Christmas, get this FREE 12-page Christmas planner – includes a countdown, timeline checklist, party planner, party guest list, bucket list, gift planner, card planner, gift wishlists and recipe planner.

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Boxing Day Sale14. Take advantage of after Christmas sale (Boxing Day Sale)

This is the smartest time- and money-saving trick of most Christmas fanatics.
They do this by sorting out most of the things that will be needed in 364 days before the big day. Now, that’s what you call well-planning way ahead of time.

The after Christmas sale or popularly called Boxing Day Sale is a grand way to score some great bargains at a fraction of its usual price.

Though, be mindful about going to the shop on Boxing Day itself as it is often jam-packed and could cause you frustration (and potentially foot pains) particularly with the current pandemic situation.

You can consider going a day after the hype or getting your goodies online and have it delivered to your door. The good thing about this is the Christmas spirit and mood are still very much in you, so you will have a better idea of what to get for the following year.

Despite everything, don’t forget to store and label your great bargains accordingly for next year. You surely don’t want to play an unsolicited memory game.

 

15. Express it through ecards and emails

Traditional cards and mails are still around.

But in this modern age, we can take advantage of digitalization through electronic cards and mails (ecards and emails) to bring our warm Christmas messages’ to our loved ones especially those who are a thousand miles away from us. While there are card manufacturers who have turned online and have their products available through subscriptions, e.g. Hallmark and Blue Mountain, there are free ecards and virtual greeting cards that are available on the internet. You just need to be very cautious to keep your online security away from potential scams.

 

Aromatherapy oils16. Smell some aroma

Have you noticed when you smell something nice, it lifts your mood? Like a delicious smell of freshly baked bread or a nice perfume.

In recent years, essential oils or aromatherapy are becoming popular to calm babies and kids, relieve stress, and even encourage good health and wellness.

Go check your pantry or fridge and see if there are already available spices, herbs, fruits or other ingredients that can pacify your senses.
Examples are lemon, lavender, peppermint, and rosemary (available naturally or as essential oil scents) which can boost your mood this season.

 

Christmas baubles17. Recycle existing decors

Don’t know what to put up in that corner or on that wall for Christmas décor this year? And you have design ideas pinned on Pinterest since January but you don’t have the materials nor the budget to make it. Then, I suggest eliminating your stress by reusing, repurposing, and recycling your old decorations. Inspire your creativity. I know it’s tempting to buy new Christmas decors every year, but for sure you know for a fact that making or reusing existing decorations will save you money and time. Big tick for your bank savings and a nice kick to keep your stress level at bay.

 

Christmas decorating with the family 18. Make decorating and gift wrapping a family event

I can imagine you, ladies of the household, to be the main character running around doing all the Christmasy-stuff at home. But doing this all on your own could be tiring and lonely which could lead to loss of interest and potentially stress.

At our home, sharing the load with the rest of the household is a go-to-trick when things are getting heavy and demanding. It, sure, is a fun way to bond with your spouse and your kids, leading up to Christmas or any time of the year.

 

And breathe19. Breathe

When you feel pumped up, you breathe.

Because breathing sends up a message to your brain to calm down and consequently settles your agitated body. This magic recipe does not require you to do much because breathing is already part of our day to day living. All you need to do is to breathe mindfully when you feel overwhelmed during the demanding preparation of this season.

 

20. Short walk challenge

I remember when I used to work, I strived to sneak at least 10-15 minutes’ walk outside to calm my nerves from all the pressures during the day. It’s amazing how a short walk can help to conquer the clutter in your head. This Christmas why not try the “12 Days of Christmas” challenge in the form of a short walk either with the whole family or by yourself. This will help you have a relaxing moment on your own or bonding Christmas time with the family.

 

Enjoy the season with sparklers21. Enjoy the season

After trying all or some of the tips listed above, the only way to do is to cherish the magical moment of this special season.

It is by being in the moment that will allow you to enjoy and appreciate the meaning of this Christmas. It is by being conscious of your thoughts and feelings that will allow you to have a stress-free Christmas celebration.

 

CONCLUSION:

I hope you find the above information helpful to make the most of your memorable holidays.  The key takeaway here is to meticulously treasure the essence of this Christmas season and not to be too absorbed by the superficial details of the occasion.

Now, over to you…

Do you have a favourite Christmas tradition or routine which helps you to have a stress-free Christmas celebration?

Please feel free to share them in the comment section below.

If you consider these tips helpful, please share it with your friends using the buttons below. You might save someone to have a Merrier Christmas day!

Have a merry stress-free Christmas spree, Homeys!

I am a busy mummy of 2 and a wifey to one. I am very careful when it comes to the needs of my family and home. I am particularly lazy to look for things and thoroughly crazy to do everything that’s why I am thankful for organizing. I am a certified meticulous when it comes to anything that involves effort, time, and money at home and beyond our home. In my spare time (if I am lucky), I engrossed myself reading, experimenting in the kitchen, exploring my tiny little garden, learning and saving from DIYs.

4 thoughts on “21 Cheap and Easy Ways to a Stress-free Christmas Holidays”

  1. Sometimes we’re just so focused on getting everything done that we end up way too stressed by the end of it and forget to really enjoy the holiday. Thank you for the amazing tips, let’s hope we can all have a stress-free Christmas season this year:)

    1. Hi Dorka,
      Thanks for reading my very first Christmas related blog post. So exciting to see people that I don’t know read it. You are right, it’s always that TO-DO-List that’s taking over our sanity and peace. But the good thing is being aware of it and making sure to at least try the #19 way… You are very welcome dear. I wish you and your family an enjoyable Christmas holiday away from Covid and other sicknesses.

  2. There are a lot of really great ideas here. The Christmas List App sounds like a great idea. I tend to squirrel away little things I find for Christmas starting in the summer, and then I forget what I’ve already got for people. This would definitely help with that.

    1. Wow, that’s just music to my ears Donna. You have no idea how you made my day. Thank you! I am pleased to hear that you found some valuable ideas in this blogpost. Yes, the Christmas list app is very useful, it’s so simple and so easy to use and it saves my brain from thinking what I need to buy and what I bought in the past. Cheers!

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