Christmas is a magical time of year. Busy but magical. For things to stay on the festive side of chaotic, start things off on the right note by organising your home before the big day.
Has someone asked you the question “What do you want this year for Christmas?”. Lucky you! It’s a question we all like thinking about, right?
I invite you to think about a slightly different question though. Replace the word “for” with the word “from” and see how this question makes you think differently: “What do you want this year from Christmas?”.
That simple one-word exchange makes that question take on a different meaning – and one that I think is far more important – and, frankly, in the long-run, will bring you more joy.
As you get your home ready for this holiday season, consider what it is you want your friends and family to feel when they come over for a visit and what it is that you want to take away from the celebrations and get-togethers.
Even if you’re not intending to host any holiday parties this year, think about how organising your home for the season will make you feel. Again, what do you want from this holiday season?
Here are a few of my favourite tips to keep in mind as you get ready for this Christmas, New Year’s, and every other joyous event you might be celebrating this time of year.
Read more: 4 minimalist Christmas tree decorating ideas
1. Reduce the stress
Lists are your friend. One of the stresses we all have is trying to keep too many things in our heads. Write it down or use an app on your phone to record your lists.
Gift lists or party preparation task lists are obvious choices. But, consider also making a ‘connect’ list.
Who do you want to make sure you visit this time of year (either in person or via telephone)?
Don’t let this time of year just happen without some real consideration of what this month means to you and who you want to reach out to.
2. Some holiday decluttering
Do a good sweep through your home and get rid of anything right now that you no longer need, use, or want.
While the holidays are a time for gift-giving and gift-receiving, they are also a time for hosting friends and family.
Open your living spaces a little by decluttering and, more importantly, before you bring more things in, this is the time to take out the clutter you don’t need.
3. Go for simple
Keep it simple. In that same vein, before you start filling your home with decorations, consider the idea that less is more.
Unless you’re planning on competing on a TV show for the best holiday lights, think about how having a few beautiful decorative items can really focus your eye.
A room or home filled with Christmas can be a bit dizzying and even distract from the real meaning of the season. The fewer items you need to decorate with the easier the process will be.
4. Don’t go overboard
Keep parties manageable. One of the things people constantly say about their own holiday parties is that they didn’t get to really connect with their guests as there were so many people there and so many things to be responsible for at the party.
Keep that in mind as you plan your get-togethers. In fact, I have friends who host an entire week of dinner parties every night.
They invite six or seven people over every night for one week so that they can really chat with each of their guests.
How do they do it, though? They make the same meal every night! Yes, that could sound tedious – but it’s also kind of genius.
Some of the dishes can be made well in advance and frozen and just heated up for that night. And, they don’t stress about how the meal is going to come out since they’ve got it well worked out!
5. Make guests feel special
If you’re having guests stay with you for the holidays, consider what would make them happy in the room where they’re going to be sleeping.
Imagine your home is one of the fanciest hotels, what would you want to see in that room? Maybe a nice robe, some water, chocolates, new toiletry items?
Or what about displaying framed photos of you with them? Make the room feel like you’ve really considered them before they arrived.
6. This is your holiday season
And, if all of that just seems like too much… I’m all for you escaping to a beautiful beach somewhere and not telling anyone your exact location!
It’s your holiday too. And if that means you want a year off the chaos, why not just escape to the beach instead?
Let someone else take care of your holiday needs – you won’t hear me complain about that. If that’s what you want from this time of year – go for it.
Merry Christmas, happy holidays and best wishes for a wonderful New Year! I hope this new year finds you happy, rested, and maybe just a little bit more organised.