Hi guys, Julia here! As the winter holidays are some of the most anticipated times of year, I have been looking for many ways to prepare, but keep on my effective schedule. However, with the snow falling, children bursting with Santa excitement, family in town, and tons of holiday gatherings with delicious food, it can be difficult to stay sane.
Don't fuss. Take it easy, use all the help you can get and still stick with your routine. With all of this activity going on, are you ready? Use some of my favorite tips to avoid stress and be prepared this season.
Stay stress-free this holiday with all the help you can get
Each year, my family trades off hosting our annual Christmas Eve party to ease the stress of having loads of people over. Use this awesome holiday-themed app called Santa’s Bag
that gives you a countdown, helps you track your budget and stay organized with gift giving. Gather up your children as elves and have them help you with organizing
and planning meals, decorations and gifts!
Try to make some holiday favorites healthy
Every family has those food traditions over the holidays. Whether it be baking cookies or that Christmas roast, there is always room for improvement. Try to make your cookies on the healthier side: use coconut or almond milk instead of dairy milk. Try to find other alternatives for your flour and sugar, so they’re less processed and more healthy. Experiment with plant-based recipes and try to make a new tradition your family will love! Get inspired with these new options
from Eating Well. With the holidays being heavy on sugar and carbs, do your best to make this time of year a healthier holidays. Check out better cookie recipes here and others using almond milk.
Discover stocking stuffers that won’t break the bank
Plan a white elephant exchange to avoid stress on gift ideas
There are many forms of a white elephant gift exchange that are practiced in the United States. A good friend of mine told me how they celebrated here in the US:
Once we all turned 18, we were allowed to join the gift exchange with our aunts and uncles, and it is an ongoing tradition that we practice every year. We each bring a gender neutral gift that is worth around $50. When we get together on the night of Christmas Eve, we all choose a number 1 through however many people brought a gift. We put all of the gifts in the middle of the room and number 1 chooses a gift. Number 2 can either steal the gift from number 1 or choose a gift from the pile. If number 2 chooses to steal, number 1 will have to go back into the pile and choose again. It’s best if you get the last number, because then you can see all of the gifts and choose the best one! The white elephant is an amazing way to bring everyone together and at least have one gift when leaving your party!
Secret Santa is another common tradition in the US, and is a fun and secretive way to give someone a special gift. You basically write all participant's names on a piece of paper and everyone goes around picking a name. Once you’ve chosen your person, you have a few weeks to think of the perfect gift and leave it on their desk (if at work), or bring it to your holiday party. View some of our gifts for under $20 that you could use in either a white elephant or secret santa exchange, depending on your budget.
Buy or create your very own Advent Calendar to countdown the days until Christmas!
Advent is a big tradition in Germany and it still reminds me of my childhood. Some advent calendars have little goodies and toys for children, or chocolate for you! Advent calendars can be for any type of person and any family! Find the right one for you and celebrate this holiday with some of your favorite things! At Zeitgeist, we have an stylish advents calendar, perfect for a modern home. Best part is that you can reuse it each year and continue the tradition. This will definitely get your child excited for the countdown!
The holidays can be a bit stressful for many, but once it’s all over, you’re already counting down the days until next year! Create new traditions, make your own gifts, and help make this year’s Christmas one you and your family will never forget!