4 Ways To Make The Holidays More Fun and Less Stressful

 This post is sponsored by Walmart

One of the things that’s really important to me as a mom is that the holidays stay fun for me.

I don’t want them to become a giant to-do list to get through – I really want it to be a season of celebration and a time of enjoying my family and friends.

I feel like every year I get a little better at this and I’ve gotten better at identifying what is just a lot of extra work (for me, wrapping all our Christmas books is not at all worth the effort although I know many families LOVE doing this) and what really makes the season feel special and celebratory.

Here are four of the things I do to keep the holiday stress to a minimum and the holiday fun at a maximum!


4 Ways To Make The Holidays More Fun and Less Stressful

  • Decide what really matters most to you (and make a list!). There are ONE MILLION things you could do during the holidays and trying to do them all is a one-way ticket to Stressville (not where you want to be spending your holidays, for sure). Sometime in November, I ask everyone over dinner what 2 things they’re most looking forward to for the holidays. If someone absolutely LIVES for going to drive around to see Christmas lights, I want to make sure we plan for that. But if no one really cares and would rather stay home and watch a Christmas movie? Then I don’t want to try to squeeze in an outing that no one particularly cares about. Maybe matching Christmas pajamas are a big deal to you (they are to Bart!) – they go on the list. (P.S. Walmart has a ton of darling family Christmas pajama options here).


  • Order early. One of my personal holiday mantras is “it will take the same amount of time now as it will in three weeks, but it’ll be much less stressful now.” The good news is that with Walmart+, you get free two day shipping, so they can bail you out if you wait until the last minute, but even so, I’d rather have it done early and not worry about it!

  • Wrap gifts as they arrive. I actually really love wrapping gifts, but I do NOT enjoy wrapping gifts at the last moment when it feels like a monumental task. Once gifts start arriving, I try to do a little wrapping session once a week or so (even if it’s just one or two gifts) because it keeps it from feeling overwhelming and it’s a great time to listen to an audiobook and decompress a bit. And it also makes me feel wildly on top of my life, which is a terrific side effect.

  • Schedule a date. Bart and I started doing this by accident when we lived in Arizona and got invited on Dec 23rd to try a new restaurant in downtown Phoenix. It was one of my all-time favorite dates because it felt SO GREAT to get away right in the thick of the holiday activities and just get to spend some time together with nothing to do but enjoy some delicious food. I’ve already got this year’s on the calendar and I can’t wait. Since neither of us has a job with an office party, it’s also a fun chance for us to dress up a little. I ordered this sweater dress from Walmart’s Free Assembly line and I was FLOORED by how good it is. It comes in a solid black, a white with a black pattern across the chest, and then this plaid version. I inherited my mom’s love of plaid and I couldn’t say no to it. It’s got a great weight, drapes beautifully, and fits like a dream (I’m wearing an XS). It also dresses up and down well, so I’ll get a LOT of wear out of it. And I couldn’t even believe the price!

I’d love to hear your best tips for making the holidays more fun and keeping stress at bay – leave them in the comments!

Photos by Heather Mildenstein

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  1. I schedule 4 “elf days” over the first two full weeks of December, during my youngest’s quiet time (while my oldest is at school) for watching Christmas movies & wrapping presents and I LOVE this time. Do festive & fun and it keeps me pretty caught up on wrapping! (Although, with early shopping I have a decent amount I could do already but hate wrapping before we get our tree over thanksgiving weekend!)

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