The holidays are already upon us! Thanksgiving has passed, Christmas and New Years are just around the corner. Are you longing to know how to have hassle-free holidays? Say goodbye to those long days of feeling overworked, under slept, and super stressed.
There was a time in my life when I I didn’t have the opportunity to enjoy the holidays like I do now, because I wasn’t using all the gifts that I’m sharing with you inside of today’s post. You can navigate the holidays from a place of peace without losing your routines or your marbles. Despite all the extra things coming at you, incredible memories can still be made and savored.
Listen below for the entire episode on The Systemize Your Life Podcast
The holidays have a habit of becoming unbelievably stressful, between sending out holiday cards and attending parties and gatherings. Inevitably, someone gets sick. While this state of chaos can be your standard operating procedure during the holidays, it does not have to be.
It used to be our normal. Then I chose freedom from the seemingly unavoidable options of having a messy house or losing sleep to straighten after the kiddos went to bed. I am so excited to share these three tips with you so that the peace and joy that are meant to accompany this season truly fill your home.
Find Your Anchor Routines
The first step in having hassle-free holidays is identifying your anchor routines. Anchor routines are the routines that tie your family to success. If nothing other than these routines happened, you would have a pretty darn good day.
For many of us, those anchor routines are going to center around sleeping. Making sure that we get good sleep and our kiddos get good sleep. Even if you’re not sure what your anchor routines are, I would suggest you start here.
I want you to do these anchor routines at least five out of seven days in the week. From mid-November to the middle of January, you need to be completing your anchor routines five out of seven days a week. What this does not look like is your kids eating dinner in the car, falling asleep in the car, eating dinner or going to bed 2 hours late, going to bed with their clothes on, or falling asleep with a candy cane in their mouths. It is none of those.
Doing your anchor routines five out seven days a week means eating dinner at your normal time and transitioning into your bedtime routine as you would any other time in the year on those five days. If you’re struggling with the part about getting in bed at the right time, then chances are that you need to look at your dinner time routine. When that gets off track, it can often affect your ability to follow through with your bedtime routine.
I often tell women that in order to have dinner by 6 pm, you need to start making dinner at 4:30 pm. If you’re going to be getting home later than 4:30 pm, is there something that you can put in the crockpot that morning? Or something that you can pull out of the freezer and throw in the oven as soon as you do get home? Consider what you need to do ahead of time to make your anchor routines happen those five out of seven days that week.
Schedule Other Activities Around Anchor Routine Needs
The next key to hassle-free holidays is scheduling your activities around completing your anchor routines. In the example of our bedtime routine serving as an anchor routine, we cannot be out of the house 3 nights a week. 3 + 5 = 8, not 7.
You are going to have to get committed and strategic really quickly. As you begin looking at all the places that you want or need to be, you will have to choose to stick to order or jump back into a SOP of chaos.
That Christmas dinner that starts at 6 pm? Ask if they can start at 4 pm. Or if you can come at 4 pm because you need to leave at 6 pm. Yes, you bet your buttons I ask people for what I need. I communicate what I need because I want to be able to show up at my house without being an absolute mess.
You are allowed to advocate for your wellbeing and the wellbeing of your family. You can do that for most of the week and then let two of those days go out the window. If you already have too many things scheduled that will interfere with those anchor routines, then you make some adjustments.
“You bet your buttons I ask people for what I need. I communicate what I need because I want to be able to show up at my house without being an absolute mess. “
Purge Right Now
My third tip for creating hassle-free holidays is to purge. Right now. This time of year is a fantastic time to start getting rid of stuff. It makes it easier to clean, it makes more space for presents and gifts that are coming into your home, it makes more space for cooking and for storing bulk food.
Currently, I have about 8 cans of organic jellied cranberry sauce in my pantry because it is my daughter’s and my favorite thing for holiday meals. Purging gives us space to store these kinds of things for the season. I recently purged my closet and last week we purged my daughters’ rooms.
Having stuff piled on stuff all throughout your house really does not feel good and especially steals from the joy of the season, so go purge some things right now! It is not hard to do. Either check out my methods in my Systemize Your Life Academy, go to my podcast vault and find some episodes on decluttering and organizing, or simply grab a black trash bag and set a timer for 30 minutes.
Create some space. The more space you have, the more enjoyable your time will be. The easier it’s going to be to love on your kids and slow down a little bit. Enjoy that cup of coffee curled up by the fire. Grab your favorite blanket.
Be Merry & Bright!
Hassle-free holidays are totally within reach. My hope is that you will grab these three tips and run with them towards a holiday season full of peace and joy. You 100% can maintain your routines. And keep a calm home environment during the wonderful chaos of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years.
If you haven’t checked it out yet, head over to the Systemize Your Life podcast. I just released an episode on reaching the one million download milestone (eeeekkkk!!) and you don’t want to miss it. As always, I cannot wait to see you back here on the blog!
Frequently Asked Questions
Still feeling overwhelmed?
Definitely check out my fundamental needs workbook that can help you figure out what your anchor routines are! Also checkout my (free!) Systemize Your Life Facebook group with any questions!