Christmas is lingering right around the corner and it seems that many people have had their gifts ready for months and their menus planned for weeks. They may even want to find a new fabulous recipe, craft or activity just for fun! The rest of us are starting to go into a frenzy because we’re still trying to figure out what to buy our relatives for Christmas. But, don’t panic! If you’re so behind that you don’t know how you’ll possibly finish everything by Christmas Eve, then you’ve come to the right place because I’m here to help!
Here are some last-minute ways to simplify your holiday:
1) Embrace the Chaos.
First of all, if we have a good attitude, most people will be forgiving when we don’t finish everything perfectly. So let’s choose to enjoy these days because before we know it, Christmas will be over once again and all that will be left are wrapping paper remnants and the memories.
2) Gather your presents into one place.
I like to lock myself in my room and spread out all of the gifts that I have on my bed before I finish shopping. This allows me to see exactly what I’ve purchased so I can make my remaining list based off of what’s not in the pile.
Wherever your present stash is, get it all out in the open at one time so you can make sure you’re not forgetting about any purchases you’ve made.
3) Simplify your remaining gifts.
By now you’ve probably already decided exactly who you’re buying for. But if you have people on your list who don’t need a gift from you (acquaintances, the person you’re buying for just in case they get you something…), then go ahead and save yourself the stress by crossing them off now.
Simplify gifts for the remaining people as much as possible. Consider gift cards or one larger present instead of several small gifts. (And please don’t let the last-minute stress cause you to purchase “filler” presents that will just clutter up someone’s house after the holidays are over!)
You can read more helpful ideas for gift simplification in this post, and see fabulous and frugal themed gift ideas for all ages here.
4) Simplify Gift Wrapping
Unless you just love to spend hours wrapping presents for everyone on your list, there is absolutely nothing wrong with using gift bags and tissue paper in order to speed up gift wrapping!
You could also pay one of your kids a little bit of money to wrap presents for you. It’d be much cheaper than paying a store to wrap gifts plus your kids could earn some Christmas cash in the process.
5) Simplify Your Schedule.
While it’s probably a bit late to decline holiday invitations, simplify the parts of your schedule that you can.
For example, take your list and finish your Christmas shopping at one time so you don’t have to go out several times trying to find that perfect present. You could also shop for your holiday dinner while you’re shopping for your normal groceries.
If your house is a mess, forget about trying to make it perfect and fake your way to clean instead.
Use pre-packaged cookie dough instead of baking from scratch, serve hot dogs or oatmeal for dinner to give yourself more time for holiday prep, and take simple side dishes to get-togethers instead of making something elaborate.
6) Leave something undone.
When I told my nine-year-old that I was thinking about writing about leaving things undone, she replied, “Oohhh, that’s a great idea! We’re really good at that!”
Yes, we leave things undone all the time. It’s so much easier that way because we can enjoy the things we’re able to do and not worry about forcing traditions when what we really want is to stay home in our PJs and play a game.
If you haven’t sent out Christmas cards, participated in your favorite tradition, baked cookies, made crafts, or set out a bunch of decorations, it’s okay! Go ahead and leave at least a few of those things undone this year.
Some years we can do more and other years we do less. If this is a year of less, then give yourself the gift of being guilt-free and just enjoy the simplicity.
How do you simplify your holiday plans when you’re in crunch time?
This post was written by Davonne Parks. You can connect with Davonne and get helpful encouragement and tips about organization, simplicity, and heart-filled motherhood on Pinterest, Facebook, or Twitter. Plus, anyone who subscribes to Davonne’s blog will receive a complimentary copy of her eBook 101 Time-Saving Tips for Busy Moms!