Being that I am consistently towing the line of a type A personality, while desparetly trying to vibe and chill like my more progressive, mellow friends; I set out to organize my life in a way that allows me to relax and ultmatimately enjoy the perks of what I assume to be a laid back existence (whatever that is .. half kidding). For those of you that can’t relate.. I envy your chill-ness, keep it up. Whenever a seasonal event approaches and we are catapulted into gift giving and holiday activities, I fantasize about hosting fabulous parties with Pinterest-inspired cocktails, creating a spreadsheet for the perfect gifts for all of my friends and family, and crossing each thing off with an unnecessary sense of accomplishment and ease by early December during leisurely strolls through beautiful one of a kind boutiques. Each and every year I consistently tell myself that, “This will be the year that I get my Christmas self together. This will be the year that I enjoy the season, as opposed to blowing into Holt Renfrew on the 22nd of December like a hurricane and doing all my shopping in one short and painful swoop. This is the year!” – It’s easier said than done, am I right or am I right?
As another mid December swell approaches and Christmas parties loom in the not so distant future, I am determined to create a more harmonious evironment for myself than in previous years.. Here are some tips that I’ve found to open up more time for enjoying the holidays without breaking the bank or becoming the personification of a tornado three days before Christmas:
1) Shop from home: The less you deal with crowds the happier you will be. I’m not sure if I speak for myself here, but pushing through crowds of other stressed out shoppers aimlessly meandering around busy malls is sort of what I imagine hell might be like.. Avoid, avoid, avoid. Do not even get me started on mall parking lots during the months of December through January. You will also open up the possibilty of truly unique and one of a kind gifts that can’t be found in your city’s local department stores. And let’s be honest, hearing the doorbell ring and receiving a box of goodies is always way more fun anyways..
2) Prioritize your DIY ventures: If you’re like me and yearn for cute festive DIY projects to fill your home with or use as party favors, it can sometimes get a little overwhelming trying to accomplish everything you set out to do (re: the scrapbooking incident of October 2014, my neck was never the same). Pick one holiday craft to work on over the course of a few weeks. As the world’s most indecisive 24 year old female, I realize that this in and of itself sounds like an enormous chore.. But in the end, you will actually be able to enjoy your project and the outcome will have a much higher, and more impressive quality than if you attempt to cram 4 or 5 projects into a small time frame. If you finish your first project sooner than expected, get out there and find your next creative venture you ambitious holiday mama!
3) Make lists: There are three types of people in this world: those who make lists, those who don’t and those who do and lose them 5 minutes later. My life can be summarized by the flurry of post-it notes on my desk at work, or the calendar alerts in my phone. I cannot live without the ritualistic effect that is writing down my tasks and honey-to-do’s on a piece of paper or at the very least in my phone or iPad. It helps things stick in my brain. Even if you are not a list maker, I highly encourage you to try this method when it comes to party planning or gift giving procedures. Writing things down as they pop into your head and keeping them handy will free up space in your brain, and allow you to relax and feel good about crossing off each task as you go along. (Tip: if you have a tendancy to misplace paper lists, take a photo of it on your phone or download a list making app in your phone so that you don’t have to stress about losing your ideas or to-do’s.)
4) Become an expert: Get really good at one or two cocktails and treats. They can become your fall back go-to’s in years to come. That way you can feel confident as a party host, or guest in what you can bring to the table (pun intended). In other words, hit up Pinterest or any of your favorite foodie sites and find some staples that are simple, delicious and unique!
5) Simplify: Whether you have 1 or 10+ people to shop for over the holidays, sometimes it’s easier to invest your money in one really nice or thoughtful thing instead of a 100 tiny novelties. I find that a little goes a long way, especially if it’s thoughtful or something that the person will get a lot of use out of. It’s not necessarily about how much you are giving or how expensive it is, but the thought that went into it and how much the recipient will appreciate it. Create a budget for how much you’re willing to spend, write down the names for each person you’re buying for and divide accordingly. If you’re a student or on a super tight budget, there are a million ways to show people you care without spending a lot of money. Something as simple as baking cookies and making a personalized box for them to go in, a hot coco kit in a mason jar or even framing a special photo.. No matter what your budget or gift, keep it simple and thoughtful.
And last but not certainly not least, pour yourself a glass of prosecco or your favorite holiday cheer and enjoy the fine specimens, whether they be your family or friends or both, that you are lucky enough to be surrounded by.