Take the most stressful task that always ends up on your plate and ask someone else to do it. Whether it's roasting the Christmas goose, picking up our crazy aunt for the long drive to your parents house, or cleaning the bathrooms before the big New Years Eve bash, your loved ones will absolutely help -- but only if you ask! Take the weight off of your shoulders. The task is probably not as stressful for them as it is for you.
Make the holidays special and more authentic by decorating with what you already have around your home. Make a Mediterranean-inspired centerpiece with pine tree boughs and citrus fruit or cranberries. Use different lighting to highlight different areas of your house, like string lights throughout bottles on the bar and candlelight in the bedrooms and bathrooms. And DIY projects like strands of paper star garland are a fun way to involve the whole family in the holiday decorating process!
Stick to your guest list. Large house parties are an easy way to invite literally everyone and their mother! Keep it a casual event with a buffet so people can eat when they're hungry and leave when they need to. If you envisioned your holidays being a small, intimate affair, however, stick to that vision and invite only your closest friends and family. I promise, everyone will understand!
Don't bother reinventing the wheel. If you have menus, party games, even topics of conversation that have been hits in the past, use them again this Holiday season. Trying to cook a whole new, innovative menu may seem exciting on paper but can be a stress-filled disaster the day of the party! Stick with traditional favorites and add only one or two new items to spice things up.
And last but certainly not least, have a positive attitude throughout the holiday season. You and your in-laws may not usually see eye to eye but make an effort to set those differences aside. If this time of year brings up painful memories of loved ones who are no longer with us, honor them with a special prayer or reminisce about past holiday memories while everyone is together. It is easy to become mentally bogged down but if you focus on your love for those around you, it will help you stay in the moment.
Do you have any advice for making the holidays less stressful? Let us know what worked best for you last year in the comment section below!
Photo sources: Wiley Entertainment; Punchbowl; She Knows: Canada; East Central Community Center; Brika; Care 2; Hub Pages: Favor Affair; Bon Appetit; Design Sponge; Tattly; and DC Ottawa.