While sitting at church listening to a great sermon about Thankfulness, it dawns on me- this is the beginning of the insanity. As my to lists run through my head, I slide further down into my pew. When I get home, I sit with a notebook in front of me and once again get overwhelmed. We have 2 Thanksgivings this week and then 3 Christmases next month. I have found 7 Secrets You need to Survive the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.
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I’m not just talking a to-do list here. You need to sit down and plan what you want the days leading up to and the actual days to look like.
What are you going to wear? What are your kids going to wear? How much of the food can you prep ahead? While these seem like to-do lists what this is dreaming about how you want your life to be. You are teaching yourself to write a better story.
I learned this philosophy from Jenny Penton of Designs by Planner Perfect. This method of planning helped me create the Mother’s Day I wanted into a reality. I wasn’t sitting around expecting my family to know what I wanted, if I wanted it, I made it happen.
This is what I’m doing to survive the holiday season. My attitude has gone from being a victim of my holidays to enjoyment and controlling what I can control and letting the rest of it go.
Jenny has beautiful planners and wonderful videos showing you how you to do this if you aren’t sure. In her Facebook Groups you will find help not only from her, but others who use her methods.
Make a List
There is just something about writing things down that make them tangible and a reality.
This is a list of what I’m planning for the holidays.
- My clothes
- What my kids are wearing
- Food to Make
- Things to Buy
- What I can make ahead of time
- How I’m going to use my leftovers
- Where we are going to buy our tree
- Where we are going to see Christmas lights
- My winter bucket list
- What decorations I have
- What decorations I need to replace
- How I’m decorating the outside of my house
- How I’m decorating the inside of my house
- What gifts I’m buying
- What gifts I’m making
- Who I need to make sure to see over the holidays
- Fun dates with my husband
- Cookies to Bake
- Candy to Make
- What I want for Christmas
When I typed the previous list, I was actually doing it from my head for the first time. Those are the things I need to plan to make my holidays successful. These are the things that will help me and you survive the holidays. So take some time out and write your own list. If you don’t know what you need, use my list as a launch pad to help you get started.
Now for making your food list one of the best things you can use is online shopping. Amazon has an amazing delivery service for groceries called Amazon Fresh. This secret is exactly what every mom needs to survive the holidays.
This is a HUGE secret to surviving. Almost all of your holiday meal can be cooked ahead of time. The hardest part you’ve already taken care of by deciding what you are going to make. If you still aren’t sure check out 10 Thanksgiving Side Dishes Worth Sharing.
One of my favorite recipes is the Crockpot Mashed potatoes. I make these ahead of time and then they sit in the crockpot waiting to be heated up and eaten. They are amazing and it frees up space on my stove.
My favorite crockpot to use is THIS one. It heats evenly and is programmable. Why programmable? Because you either turn on the crockpot and it isn’t plugged in or vice versa. I can’t be the only one who does that right?
Since your oven is already going, you might want to consider making or prepping breakfast ahead of time. Ain’t no one got time to make breakfast that morning. So why not prep that ahead of time as well. Here are 14 Cheap Healthy Quick Breakfast Ideas that aren’t Cereal.
Recruit Help AKA Delegate
There is NO reason you should take on all the work of the holidays for yourself. Have your family bring dishes to help provide the meal. Everyone wants to help so why not have them bring their favorite must have dish to the table. And if they don’t know what to bring, send them to the blog post I mentioned earlier.
When it comes to cleaning, you shouldn’t have to do it all yourself. You aren’t the only one who lives there, and I’m pretty sure you didn’t make all of the mess. You need to give your children the Freedom to Serve.
The best way to do this is to have lists on how to clean the assigned room. This sets your children up for success with Pride in a Job Well Done.
Now if you are trying to get your house ready because company is coming then you need my free Printable at 30 Minute Panic Plan for Last Minute Guest Invasion. This FREE PRINTABLE will help you make sure you are ready when company is invading your house and you have very little time to spare.
Prepare your Kids for the Chaos to come
While this may not seem like a big deal to some, it can be very traumatic and dramatic for child with Autism. As a mom with a child on the spectrum, I know this all too well. The holidays are a change in setting, different people, more people, change in routine, NOISE and more NOISE!
This doesn’t mean that your child can’t adapt, but they will need your help. Having a plan on How to Prevent Meltdowns During the Holidays it a HUGE secret you need to surviving the holidays and one I use all the time. These are tips and tricks I use on my own children not only for my own sanity, but for theirs as well.
Because while these are 7 Secrets YOU Need to Survive the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, it is also the Most STRESSFUL time of the year for your family.
The most important thing you can do is to make sure to establish and keep Quiet Time. There are so many ways How Quiet Time Can Save Your Sanity, but the biggest one is a moment for everyone to breathe.
Even if your children don’t think they need it, we all can get over stimulated and just need a break, even the extroverts.
Take care of yourself too
Self-care is one of my favorite topics. We as mom tend to forget to take care of ourselves and/ or feel guilty when we do it. I can’t stress it enough, but if you don’t take care of yourself you will end up sick and then you can’t take care of anyone. I’ve had to learn this the hard way many times.
One of my favorite ways is using Essential Oils. My friend Brianna Wilkerson from Made Well has an amazing free Webinar she is offering called Essential Oils for the Holidays. She is going to cover how to use oils for not only your health, but also as gifts. You should not only take some time to see the webinar, but use the oils to help you survive.
Here are some of my Self-Care posts if you are wondering what you really have time to do.
When Life Gets Busy–
This post is by my friend and Mindest Coach Sarah Steckler.
To Survive Holiday Season Let it Go
I keep using the phrase over and over and I’m not even a Frozen fan, but it applies. Even with all of the planning I do to help my holidays turn out exactly as I want, life still happens.
People get sick and I really don’t want your stomach virus. The store funs out of butternut squash and I forgot to buy some. Family members die unexpectedly, and the holidays seem emptier. A parent ends up in the hospital and the cooking plans and your travel plans get moved up a day.
There is always that one person who looks fresh and as if she hasn’t been standing in a hot kitchen all morning. Then there is the sister that either buys expensive gifts or finds the perfect gift. How about the one that is so relaxed and laid back not stressing out over anything.
NOPE! None of those are me, and it still gets to me. When I look at them and see how “perfect” they are and compare that perfection to my frazzled craziness and begin to lose my joy.
If I’m not the only mom who deals with this, you really need to check out Instead of Comparison Chose Joy. Use this to help prevent yourself from falling into Satan’s trap of misery.
When it comes down to it, there is only so much you can do. Honestly, your children will remember you being either Joyful or Stressed out more than they will remember what they got that year for Christmas.
And if you forget to thaw the turkey in time, it will become the running joke in the family, AKA plug in the crockpot mom and turn it on this time.