As a Professional Organizer, I've encouraged people to use simplification, organization and economy as the rule of thumb as opposed to the excess, complication and expense that is so often encouraged today.
A general rule: "if it’s stressful instead of joyful, either find a way to simplify it or eliminate it."
Instead of spending all your spare time baking, decorating and shopping, pare things down to the point you are comfortable with.
Take notice of any decorations you find you don’t use this year & haven’t used in the past; maybe they are too much trouble to put up or you simply have enough other decorations, but whatever the reason, consider getting rid of them and simplifying your holiday decor.
Then, put everything away in an organized manner after the holidays this year, & make things easier next year. Use cord wraps to store lights, use divided ornament boxes to house all your ornaments safely, and store all your wrap and bows in a wrap box.
Pare it down: instead of baking several kinds of cookies, bake your very favorite 2-3.
TIP: Put all your favorite holiday recipes in one place, separate from the rest, so you can easily get them out each year without having to rummage through several cookbooks or recipe boxes
Avoid the holiday rush, stress and crowds by taking advantage of buying gifts on-line. Shop throughout the year when you see things that catch your eye as the perfect gift for someone on your list, and combined with on-line shopping you can be done before most people even start their holiday shopping.
TIP: Make lists of not only those you buy gifts for, but what you think they might want or the item you intend to get for them. This will help you keep track as you shop.
Consider giving useful, & unique gifts to be used and enjoyed rather than giving “things”.
For example, Gift Certificates for:
- special services (massage, pedicure, etc.)
- restaurants or coffee houses
- various food items
- a certificate for a free night of babysitting or a car wash
- an audio or video recording of a parent, grandparent or any family member reminiscing about the past or telling funny stories