What do you need to change to take stress out of Christmas? (Day 2 of 31 days to take the Stress out of Christmas)

31 days to take the Stress out of Christmas - large

This post is part of a series – “31 days to take the Stress out of Christmas”.  You can read all the posts in the series here.  And to make sure you don’t miss a post you can subscribe to have every post delivered to your inbox, or follow me on facebook.

Day 2 - What do you need to change to take the stress out of Christmas

Today’s post will be short because I am going to give you a homework assignment.  I want you to take some time today to read through the first post again, think about Christmas seasons past in your home, and figure what you want to and need to change.  What has worked well, what hasn’t worked well – areas that you felt stressed in?  Until you find and realize the cause of the stress and what areas need to change, you will never change them.

Here’s my mine causes of stress:

  • too much on my plate to accomplish in one month!  cards, shopping, wrapping, decorating, baking, entertaining, church activities
  • too high expectations and I am way too hard on myself – my neighbors don’t expect a perfect Pinterest label on a plate of homemade elaborate cookies as much as I would love to do that
  • we have a strict budget for our home and the way we live our life – and I need to not let others expectations of presents that don’t fit my budget bother me
  • not scheduling things out on a calendar ahead of time – when will I wrap, decorate, do cards?  no organized to-do list so things get pushed to last minute
  • the house not being clean so having people over or hosting a party throws me into a cleaning frenzy

And here’s some ways I can change them:

  • Plan ahead – I need to accomplish some things before December even gets here – cards ready to mail, Christmas pictures done, homemade gifts done, some baked goods already baked and in freezer to lessen the load in December
  • Stay off Pinterest during December Smile  just kidding… or maybe not.  Constantly remind myself that things don’t have to be perfect – the thought is what counts.  And is what I am doing worth missing out on something I could be doing (creating more work for myself vs. making memories or just enjoying the season)
  • shop ahead, and make sure others are aware of our budget or even the fact that we won’t be giving gifts ahead of time
  • sit down now or in November and schedule out on a calendar all the events and activities in December and when I will accomplish what I need to do – decorate, cards, wrap, bake…
  • Declutter and do a deep cleaning in November.  Spend 15-30 minutes a day maintaining a clean house each day to prevent the mass hours of cleaning before a party.

So what is your causes of stress?  And how can you change them?


  1. Love this series already – thank you for doing it. I’m thinking ahead too. Even when you don’t work outside the home it isn’t possible to do all the things that Pinterest would have us think we should do.

  2. I like the idea of prepping Christmas cards early. I always buy a box on clearance every year so that’s something I could do. Thanks for the tip!

  3. I procrastinate with our family Christmas letter….every year. I always promise myself that it’ll be different next year, that my role as housewife will surpass prior Christmases, that I will be the modern June Cleaver -pearls and all. Never happens, and sadly, neither does my letter. I should start drafting it now. Really.

    Loving your series, Christina. You inspire me in so many ways. Thanks for sharing.
    Heather @ Thrifty Stories recently posted..The Plaything Plight {31 Days of Life. Contained.}My Profile

  4. Cheryl MacKay says:

    Great post!
    We intend to purchase all Christmas gifts by November 1st. This year, we are to keep it lean and simple. I go waaaaay overboard in presents every year. That breaks the bank and brings the budget to overdrawn.

    I like the calendar idea. This way, everyone in the household knows what to expect and where to help out.

    Looking forward to more posts

  5. I think the biggest thing I need to change is planning the holidays further in advance. Too often it sneaks up on me and then I feel overwhelmed by the amount of stuff I need to do and money I need to spend in a short amount of time.
    Julie @ Girl on the Move recently posted..Creating a Social Media Plan {day two}My Profile

  6. Love your series. This is one I can reference each year before Christmas. My biggest stress is my own expectations–how I think it should be vs. what it is.
    Lisa recently posted..31 Day writing challenge: Chocolate pieMy Profile

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