31 Days to a Stress-Free Holiday : Intro

I’m really excited to be participating in The Nester’s 31 day writing challenge. My topic actually came to me fairly quickly. My favorite time of the year is approaching — the Holiday season.

The Holidays are about family, reflection, gratitude, and giving. ¬†At some point in time, we’ve allowed the Holidays to become about obligations, busyness, and stress. I know that there are people out there that don’t even enjoy the Holidays, or dread them, because of the stress that comes along with them. I’m basically like a kid when it comes to Christmas, in that I think about it all year-long, cannot wait, would make a paper countdown chain starting in February if it were socially appropriate…..but I’m even guilty of overdoing it and stressing myself out about it all. The first Holidays after Tim and I were married were absolutely insane. I started with hosting Thanksgiving in our new home for both families after a bout of the stomach flu, then we completely loaded up the calendar in December. I think there were for real only 3 days that we didn’t have an event marked on our calendar. Insane. Since then, I’ve been on a mission to simplify and to learn how to say no to things, so that when January rolls around I don’t feel like a crazy person.

This really is possible to do! It takes planning ahead, starting early, simplifying, and accomplishing things in baby steps. It may take a little more effort in the beginning, but the result will be a happy, relaxing, memorable Holiday season with your family and friends. Overall, it will be a much more meaningful season for you.

I recommend beginning this process in early November. It’s possible that you could be done with your Holiday prep by the beginning of December. Now, there will always be things that pop up or that you can’t do until a certain date, but you will be so much more prepared to take care of these things because everything else is already done! You don’t necessarily have to do all of these things in the order that I post them. With any kind of organizational plan, you have to adjust it to what works for you and your family. This is what works for me and is a great base to work your way to a fantastic Holiday season.

I’ll be covering topics like budgets, food prep, gifts lists, events, and your Holiday wardrobe. I will link up to each post back here on this one, so that it’s all in one place for you to find.

I’m really looking forward to tackling this with you all! I want your feedback, too! Let me know what works for you, or what issues you run into. I hope each of you has an amazingly enjoyable, stress-free Holiday season!



Day 2 : Clean House

Day 3 : Stock up on Essentials

Day 4 : Establish a Holiday Budget {and stick to it!}

Day 5 : Assess Your Calendar {protect your time!}

Day 6 : Make a Gift List

Day 7 : Gather a Size List

Day 8 : Plan Your Holiday Wardrobe

Day 9 : Purge

Day 10 : Make Travel Plans

Day 11 : Plan Devotional or Advent Activities

Day 12 : Create Holiday Menus and Grocery List

Day 13 : Gift Wrap Inventory

Day 14 : Decor Inventory

Day 15 : Create a Christmas Playlist

Day 16 : Greeting Cards

Day 17 : Start Making Handmade Gifts

Day 18 : Plan Charitable Giving

Day 19 : Plan Must-Do Family Activities and Traditions

Day 20 : Plan Freezer and Slow Cooker Meals

Day 21 : Make Pre-Made Dough and Snacks

Day 22 : Do All of Your Online Shopping

Day 23 : Plan Table Settings

Day 24 : Black Friday

Day 25 : Make Any Christmas Decor

Day 26 : Food Prep

Day 27 : Decorate the Tree

Day 28 : Decorate the Inside of the House

Day 29 : Decorate the Outside of the House

Day 30 : Wrap and Ship All Gifts

Day 31 : Relax and Reflect