You may have just put mums and pumpkins on your front porch, but here’s a poorly-kept secret: it’s *never* too early to start planning for the holidays. Emily’s got three easy, doable things you can do to start prepping for special meals, gifts, and schedules so you can get some time (and sanity!) back when your calendar starts to fill up soon. Here’s the thing: joy isn’t found just in the spontaneous moments. It’s also found in moments we planned for, because we made space in our lives for them. And when you’ve got time to enjoy a cup of cocoa with your family instead of frantically wrapping presents in your bedroom, you’ll hive-five yourself for getting a holiday head start.
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3 Ways to Simplify the Holidays
Decide which events you’re going to commit to. To those that don’t fit in your schedule, find some time in the new year to connect with that family member or friend.
Choose your menus. Figure out what you are most looking forward to and plan early. Don’t forget, grocery delivery is your best friend during the busy holiday season.
- Start making your gift shopping list now—and begin working through it. Use your Notes app and Amazon wishlists to guide your purchases.
“When you were little, all you had to do for the holidays was show up. Maybe you'd make a construction paper reindeer or a handprint turkey at school. And that was your big contribution to the holidays. But now? Now it feels like your free time evaporates for two months as you're in a never ending cycle of cleaning and cooking and decorating and gift buying and trying to take in the wonder of the season. It's a lot. ” – Emily Ley
“I want more of the memories and joy. I want to make room for a holiday that doesn't add pressure on me or my loved ones to make it perfect or meet some high expectation of a picture perfect Thanksgiving or Hanukkah or Christmas.” – Emily Ley
“There's magic in the moments that are planned for you and your people. Plus, having a date when you know an event is coming up takes away the stress because you know how to manage your time and energy leading up to those moments.” – Emily Ley
A Blessing for Your Week
May you find peace as your plans for the coming holiday season begin to take shape.
May you cultivate joy as you sing the songs, bake the cookies, and keep the traditions alive that you and your family hold dear.
And may you feel the comfort of celebrating life with the people you love so much, the ones that make you so grateful to share your days with them.
Simplicity Tip of the Week
Keep extra Christmas greeting cards and lots of gift cards handy for emergency gifts. Try to stock up on gift cards for retailers most people have access to, like Target or Amazon. Maybe you get some yummy restaurants like Chick-fil-A or Chipotle. Of course, there’s the perennial classic, a Starbucks gift card, which is something just about everyone can use and enjoy. And if you’re pressed for time, don’t forget you can gift a Starbucks cards via text – I learned that one from my friend Kristin in all the way back in Episode 04.
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