How to Actually Enjoy the Holidays

Step Back, Relax, and Enjoy! Easier said than done, but it is important to find that time to really appreciate the joy that the holidays bring.

family holidays

For many, the holidays can be a time of extreme stress with family visiting, children to buy presents for, and an entire feast (or several feasts) to plan. Following these steps will hopefully help take a little stress out of your schedule and allow you to enjoy this amazing time.

Set aside time. The holidays are my most cherished time I have to sit down and spend time with my husband, children and extended family. I usually take off from December 23rd until around January 3rd or 4th and our office typically tries to do the same. So, amidst the hustle and bustle of shopping, holiday parties and scheduling surgeries (for some reason people love their surgeries right before the holidays)—I know that I have 10 days to spend with my family.

Prepare. I would love to say that the holidays just run themselves, but for me, it takes a few to do lists, lots of catalogs, comprehensive address lists, and a photograph shoot. I keep a document on my computer of the holiday gifts that I gave last year, so that is always a good start when preparing for gift giving. It helps to avoid forgetting someone special. I keep a folder in my email labeled addresses, where I file all emails of friends, family, colleagues who have moved and sent me their new addresses. I later transfer them over to an Excel Spreadsheet with all 250 addresses for the holiday cards. In my notes section on my phone, I have my usual To Do list, a gift wish list for designated people, and a place to add my children’s hope for gifts that they may mention in passing. I plan a couple months in advance to have a fun photo shoot with my children and husband and set aside 4 hours for that so we do not seem rushed. We have done photos at the Polar Express Train Ride, the Christmas Tree Farm while picking out our tree, our house while putting up decorations, and trails around our town while we are on a hike. It helps to have a fun excursion as you take photos.

READ MORE: Spending Time with Children: Quality VS Quantity

Find out how to make the holiday special for you. Plan the special moments for your family to cherish! The holiday season FLIES by—as soon as you turn on the radio and hear Jingle Bells, it seems like you are surrounded by pine needles taking your tree out the door. Bummer. BUT—talk to you spouse and/or children and see what they want to do or see during this time. Our fun events are The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, The New York Botanical Gardens Train Show, The Polar Express Train Ride, The local Reindeer Festival, the town Tree Lighting, The Nutcracker, the local museum train display, and exploring the Arts and Crafts weekend events.   Certainly, we only make a few of those every year, but the sooner I start adding them to my calendar the better we can avoid missing something that we really wanted to see.

Save the memories. Yes, these are digital times, but it is nice to keep a holiday photo album of your Holiday Cards throughout the years, fun candid photos of decorating the house, and crazy pictures with Santa. We keep the photo album with our Christmas decorations every year and so it is fun to bring it out when we are decorating our tree and see the photos span the years with one child to now with four.

Here’s to a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season!!

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