It's the most wonderful time of the year, right?! For some people that statement might be wrong. So many people during the holiday season are stressed, worried, bitter or frustrated with life. But that does NOT have to be the case. Here are 7 ways to survive and enjoy the holidays this season--a foolproof guide to ensuring that it truly is the most wonderful time of the year.
1. Make Sure You Bake (and bake a lot):
Make sure you bake some cookies this year. Don't worry about being a bad baker or not knowing where to start with the recipes, I have all the ideas for you right here. Here are two websites to check out to find the BEST cookie recipes and advice for the holidays.
The first website gives you five tips on how to make the best holiday cookies. From advice on how to be creative to preparations--these 5 steps answer any questions you could possibly have!
The second website is The Huffington Post's "The 40 Best Christmas Cookie Recipes of This Season"--check it out, there are some DELICIOUS cookie recipes. Best part? There are 40 different cookies, so you're bound to find one that everyone at the holiday party likes!
2. Find a Stress Fix:
As amazing as the holidays can be, they can be incredibly stressful. I know I'm stressed knowing that the holidays are about a week away and I have hardly any gifts bought, not a single gift wrapped or ready to go in any way at all. REMEMBER TO BREATHE. It is okay to be behind! I recently admitted to a friend that I just won't be able to have his gift ready on-time for the 25th and it was so much easier than I thought it would be! Give yourself a present--go get a massage or facial. You deserve it. Don't be afraid to cut yourself some slack, sit back, breathe and find your own stress fix.
3. I CAN'T FIGURE OUT A GIFT! WHAT DO I DO?
You know that person on your list that you can just NOT figure out? Stop stressing right now, I have all the ideas you need. First, ask yourself if that person may just want a gift card. If so, go grab that gift card…EVERYONE LOVES THEM, I promise. But if you feel like you can't just buy your friend or loved one a gift card, here's another idea. Put together a gift basket, with all sort of relaxing and rejuvenating items to have a home spa night together. Find your friend's favorite scents, nail polishes, foot scrubs, face masks and grab some wine and relax! If this doesn't sound right then put together a package of things to warm up with during this cold weather. Buy some fuzzy slippers, a scarf, mittens and some hot cocoa and then commit to a movie night! He or she will LOVE it! Make the present more than just items. If you give them your time it will make the present more than just some items in a box, it will make it an experience your friend can always remember.
4. "The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!"
One of my all-time favorite holiday movies is Elf starring Will Ferrell. Not only is it hilarious, but it gives great advice. Make sure you belt out some carols during this upcoming holiday. Whether it be gathering up some friends and taking them around the neighborhood to serenade your neighbors, or merely singing at home with family, it really is a fun thing to do. Try to make a tradition of annual caroling this year, it will be a tradition you won't regret starting.
5. Bring Out Those Classics
Make sure you watch all the holiday classic movies this year!They may be cheesy, but you better you have to admit you love them. I know I do. If you can't think of which ones to watch, I can help. IMDB released a list of their "25 Best Holiday Movies of All Time." Check it out and bask in holiday cheesiness--you only get to once a year.
6. Stop Worrying!
You not only need to find a way to relieve your stress this holiday season, but remind yourself on a daily basis that you DO NOT need to worry. This time of year is a time for happiness, giving and spending time with your loved ones. Stop worrying about that major presentation you have to do at work a few days after the holidays or how you're going to deal with relative you don't get along with being at gatherings. Be in the moment, cherish the present time and be thankful for all you have this holiday season.
7. Spread Holiday Cheer & Love
If there's one thing I advise most this holiday season it is to make sure you spread love and cheer. Whether it be volunteering by ringing bells for a charity, paying ahead for a stranger's coffee, or simply smiling at a stranger--do something out of your ordinary. Try to spread some holiday cheer and love to people who may not otherwise experience it. In addition to helping strangers and ones in need, work to do the same for your friends and family. It is the season of giving, but that does not necessarily mean you have to give grandiose or expensive gifts. Give a hug, do the dishes when it's not "your turn", bring your friend a treat from her favorite bakery, call your mom just to tell her that you love her--do SOMETHING to spread holiday cheer and love. Even the smallest actions can mean the most to somebody, make this holiday someone's best one yet.