We’re in the swing of the holiday season. Are you feeling the stress as a result of all of your to-do lists? “Get Your Holiday Stress in Check” for the week is brought to you by Nana Poppins!
Nana is a grandmother of five and knows a thing or two about pulling it all together for the holidays. She provided some great tips on how to juggle it all in a low-stress fashion and listed fabulous gift ideas made easy.
What are your stress triggers during the holiday season?
I tend to envision more than I can accomplish. In my mind it is a great idea but usually time and resources tend to change my plans. I’m usually the one who puts off projects until the last minute and then get overwhelmed with things to do. Procrastination is my biggest stress trigger!
How do you manage your holiday stress?
Besides realizing that I am not Martha Stewart.. this year I plan to prepare a schedule of my projects. I usually don’t ask for help, but have been learning that I can’t do it all. I also intend to make time for myself. I want to really cherish the season while everyone is around, my plan is to present the best me at the festivities so I don’t feel frustrated or overwhelmed when they over.
Tell us how you delegate tasks during the holiday season?
I usually don’t delegate any tasks during the season except having the hubby hang outside lights. This year I am going to involve the grandchildren into helping with baking and decorating, gift wrapping. I am also going to ask some guests to bring a dish to share.
What holiday tips would you offer to busy moms?
- Be realistic. No one is perfect, don’t expect it from yourself or others.
- Keep the general areas of your home clean.
- Have snacks at the ready for unexpected visitors. Cheese, crackers and grapes are always quick and easy. Ginger ale mixed with fruit juice are always a festive punch.
- Get a notebook or organizer and plan ahead.
- Instead of personalizing each and every card, consider writing a family newsletter to enclose with your cards (or instead of cards) about the news you want to share about your family.
- Consider shopping online. Many of the vendors offer gift wrapping and free shipping near the holiday season. If unwrapped gifts arrive wrap and tag them to avoid last minute confusion.
- Make sure to take time for yourself. Go for a walk or just sit alone, but breathe!
- Make sure you eat healthy and get enough sleep.
Do you have any “being in the now” techniques you can share?
When I read this question all I could think about was technology, but that isn’t necessarily what “in the now” means to me. Here is my tip. Enjoy the moment. Keep a camera handy. My cell phone is a camera and I’m always taking pictures. Take pictures of your guests! Take pictures of everything!! Play games with the kids. Laugh often! Remember this season will be what you make of it. Take your best memories away from it and smile.
What is the best part of the holiday season for you?
Family coming together, the feeling of love and laughter. Cherishing those moments with loved ones and remembering those we have lost. Traditions are also important to me, but I’m not so rigid I wouldn’t accept new ones being made. If I had one word to sum up what holidays mean to me it would be: Family!
Gift Ideas from Nana Poppins
- Coffee Cups and flavored coffee samples. I pack two coffee mugs with a small flavored coffee (found in coffee isle at the grocery store- trial size) and wrap. it’s a great gift for couples, teachers or neighbors!
- A gift of recipes. If someone loved those cookies or muffins you made, consider buying a baking dish and package all the spices and such needed for them to make their own!
- Embroidery kits and magnets (personalize). Photos are always a great way to share your life with family that live far away. The dollar store has an excellent selection of frames and embroidery kits in craft section. Just remember sometimes the personal touch is worth more then the amount invested into the gift. A DVD costs around $20 dollars but your child’s face in a frame or on a refrigerator magnet is priceless!
- Make sure to check yard sales and thrift stores for old dishes or silver pieces and polish them up. You could very well be responsible for the next family heirloom!
- Collect boxes of all sizes and shapes.. don’t forget to ask for boxes as the store, most stores will offer shirt boxes and coat boxes for free.
Do you have any tips to share?