It’s no surprise that I love Christmas. But this time of year, especially with only a few days remaining until the big show, can be overwhelming. We are at the point where some stuff just needs to get thrown off the to-do list, where our Christmas cards will now be New Year Cards (points at myself) and every activity may have to be adjusted based on schedule.
I do have a few cheats that I use every year that helps to reduce the feeling of "I need to do it all!" and that keeps me feeling merry and festive. They seem like little steps, but I know for me they have a huge impact.
Yes, I am keen to do my part for the environment. No, I don’t want a bazillion mini appetizer plates dirtied every time we have company and I put out a tray of baking and snacks. So instead, I have compostable paper plates at the ready at all times during this month. From cookie decorating, to snacking to even crafts sometimes, a paper plate is my friend this time of year.
I cook a lot. I like to cook. However, I don’t want to make a giant meal every night or every time company pops in. So I keep frozen appetizers in the freezer ready to go. Sometimes, we have family over and then we get visiting and playing and everyone is a bit snacky. It’s nice to be able to offer a quick bite to eat without the stress of ‘what food do I have?’ lingering over me. (Costco has some great options, but also check out Sobeys. They have these amazing shrimp appetizer bites and the boxes are now buy 2 get one free.)
Extra wine, extra boxes of chocolates, extra Christmas cards – these are the things I like to have handy just in case I suddenly realized that I forgot someone on my list, get a last minute invite and want to offer a hostess gift, or just need to have for company. I know I’m the type of person that would worry in those situations, so having something on hand reduces my panic of "what if."
I keep baking around from about December 1st on. Andy and I are making pies for Christmas dinner. But there’s more that needs to be done, and there isn’t always time or energy to do it. Now is the time to outsource what you can. I outsource our Christmas morning breakfast. We pick up an amazing quiche from local food store Epicuria and Andy will make a quick batch of waffles for the kids Christmas morning. Easy and stress free. Lots of food shops have meat pies, desserts and even full turkey meals!
All these years later, and Elsa is still right. We need to let some things go. It may not be an official cheat, but looking at the to-do list and just saying "nope" will relieve some stress.
At the end of the day, Christmas comes together in the way that it’s meant to – as a family, with plenty of togetherness and heart. That’s what it means to us.
Use a couple of these time savers, let go of what can’t get done, and enjoy the holidays! I know I will!