stress free holiday planning amid a crisis

How a Stress Free Holiday is Possible…Even in 2020

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Every holiday it’s the same rollercoaster of excitement, dread and chaos. But what if you really didn’t have to join that holiday rushed and anxious feeling? 

The holiday season is coming up and all I can say is I’m already stressed to the max with what 2020 has brought. My husband started a new job in February right before the shutdown so our house was affected by the surplus layoffs. I found out I was pregnant in April. Once my husband was back to work I quit my full-time job due to the job stress complications with my pregnancy. Just to name a few things!


Cue the exhale breath. 

I am so thankful we made it through the rough patch though. I had a wonderful job to lean on while my husband used his layoff to do the virtual learning with my daughter. He cooked, cleaned and was a wonderful support for me. (Gotta love it when hard times bring us closer together!)

I know for our house 2020 has taken enough. Normalcy is something we are still hoping will come back so we can get back to the good ole days. I find myself referencing 2019 like it was the pre-depression days that were full of laughing and carefree dining. Sadly even our kids are getting used to the response “we can’t do that right now cause of the virus. Maybe sometime soon”. 

But you know what…I am ready to stop waiting for normal and I am deciding to take back my home.

I love Christmas…and let me tell you I will NOT let my holiday season and 2020 end with more chaos, loss of normalcy and a worn out mom to my kids. 

I am taking a mindful step to create my holiday plan so I can start getting my normal and (hopefully) stress free holiday celebration on. 

What will it look like exactly

Believe me, you and me both are wanting to know. But I want to share my game plan in an effort to remind myself, and anyone reading, that we are still the ones who call the shots in our home. 

So here is my big idea

Stop setting yourself up for failure with unrealistic expectations based on what we think our lives should be like. 

Whoa there.

I say this to myself because I tend to aim high and get frustrated when I don’t reach the mental picture I had planned out for the situation. So instead of trying to plan a 180 turn on 2020, think of small victories that are actually doable.

Obviously I want us to be on fire to take back the holiday season, but not to the point we burn out and end up getting depressed again because we didn’t make up for lost time. 

Okay, where do we start though?

Give yourself some slack.

It has been a heck of a year with so many changes, and we have all been Rockstar’s at juggling it all.

So first, let’s just all agree are doing an amazing job. Exhale that mountain of standards we as moms are trying to live up to that WE ourselves created. Because it’s time to acknowledge how we have balanced all the curveballs, we are ready now for a time of celebration.

Next, take a look at your traditions/normal habits for each holiday, and pick 3 things each holiday dinner/party/event etc… to focus ALL on. 

By this I mean give yourself permission to obsess and pin everything related to the topic, go overboard planning. Whatever makes you feel like you have some handle on your decision. This can be the Thanksgiving turkey, table settings or decoration to go all out regarding.


Give yourself permission to have some of the “easy and convenient” options on the rest of the holiday planning. 

Give yourself 3 areas to be the ultimate mom and planner over. But! Be ready to let the other areas take a milder approach. Allowing some “slack” in holiday planning will be a relief when its time to enjoy the moment.

–>Maybe use paper cups instead of the glasses that need to be hand washed.

–>Or ask guests to bring their best hot casserole recipe instead of making your traditional green bean casserole since the turkey was your area to obsess over this year. 

The idea is take a portion of the holiday party/dinner to dedicate your attention to, then let the remaining be filled in with a “convenient” option, whether that is family, friends, pre-made options or supporting your friend who is baking pies for some holiday extra cash.

Prioritizing what’s important so you can spend that time relaxing and watching the kids play ball outside, or getting to see the parade on TV not from the kitchen etc…

Whatever YOUR normal looks like, the most important parts you want to cling to, let that be your area to protect, preserve and make happen. 

Lastly, remember to get the picture with YOU in it! 

So many times I have gotten a picture with all the relatives, daddy/kids, silly photo bombs and all the ones in between. But this year make an effort to get yourself in those pictures.

No I don’t mean a selfie… I mean get the whole camera shot of you covered in flour, red in the face from cooking in a hot kitchen as the kids come to ask for the millionth time if dinner is ready yet, THAT PICTURE.

Because that is YOU. That is what you look like as momma, wife, daughter, cousin, aunt or friend. That is the version you need to embrace to keep being the family glue. 

The holiday season is time to enjoy and remember. So give yourself permission to fuss over 3 big holiday traditions/food/decor etc… But have grace to let go of the rest. And DON’T forget to catch the season on camera.

Once you take on the mental expectation of the holidays, your stress free holiday will be that more attainable.


If you haven’t taken a look at my about me page to see what the deal about the ashes to roots is all about…now is a great time to do that!

You can find the page here

Spoiler alert!

Just like forest fires are life changing, they can become life giving again. So lets start making the life changes to get back our homes.

One Comment

  • Laura

    I love the idea of letting others help more so i can enjoy the day more. And I do wish there were more pictures of me in it! Great reminder.

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