*This blog post is sponsored by Maytag®, but all opinions and thoughts are my own.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE HOLIDAYS
With all the hustle and the bustle of the holiday season, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and exhausted by all the things going on in your life and around you. The holidays are supposed to be a time of family, fun and traditions and sometimes there can be a lot of pressure to provide the perfect holiday for your family and friends.
The most wonderful time of the year can also easily become the most stressful time of year!
TIPS FOR RELIEVING HOLIDAY STRESS
There are a few tips I like to use to help lower my stress during the season.
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- Make lists. And more lists! Organize your thoughts and the things that need to be done. Make a plan for how you are going to tackle each item on your to-do list. Also, make a list of items that you can delegate to others so that you can free up more time for yourself.
- Don’t over-schedule. Be careful about what you schedule during the holidays. Some things you may not be able to control but look closely at what you can control or schedule to allow your family some down time. This down time will help you regroup and help you stay healthy and happy during this stressful time of year.
- Re-evaluate or create more realistic holiday traditions. Evaluate your current family traditions. As your family grows and changes, your family traditions may need to be adapted or discontinued. Do your holiday traditions cause more stress than enjoyment? Do you need to adopt new family traditions? One tradition I’ll never give up is holiday baking, which has gotten even easier thanks to my Maytag Fingerprint Resistant Stainless Steel kitchen suite, but more on that later in this blog post!
- Use a budget and stick to it. Plan a budget for the items you need to purchase. Going over budget can add a lot of extra holiday stress. If you have a budget you are less likely to overspend.
- Plan ahead. Make a plan and stick to it. Get things done early and get them off your list so you can relax and break up your to-do list into smaller, more manageable chunks of time.
- Get your shopping done early. When the shopping is out of the way, you free up your time to enjoy being with your family and friends rather than fighting the crowds trying to find the perfect gift!
- Set aside family-only time. Schedule time for only your family on the calendar. Block out meaningful time to spend with your loved ones. Even if it is just an hour or two here and there. Slow down and make sure those most important to you are not being overlooked by all of the little tasks on your lists.
- Decorate early. If you decorate, do it early so that it is up and off of your to-do list. If it brings you joy, get it up and enjoy it as long as you can. Do you have too much stuff? Does it make your home feel cluttered…or does it bring you joy? Sometimes less is more. Evaluate and then get rid of anything that you are not using!
- Make your holiday meaningful. Teach your children about the true meaning of the holiday. Take the time to incorporate traditions that reinforce what you want your children to learn and feel during the holiday. Plan moments where you spend time together as a family doing those things that are MOST important to you. Cut out any unnecessary distractions that will take you away from how you want to celebrate.
Once you organize and prioritize all the things that require your time and attention during the holidays, then you will have more time to focus on family traditions and activities that create lasting memories.
Traditions in families are important for several reasons. Here are a few of the main reasons I believe traditions should be an essential part of your holiday celebrations:
- Traditions help pass along cultural and family values to the next generation.
- They provide a sense of family history and define the boundaries of the family.
- They can give each member of the family a sense of identity, strength and belonging to something bigger than themselves.
- Traditions provide a meaningful purpose for coming together while enjoying one another’s company.
- Traditions help build strong family bonds.
One of our favorite traditions as a family is holiday baking. We enjoy spending time together in the kitchen making old and new family recipes. I have fond memories of doing the same with my parents growing up and have enjoyed continuing the tradition in my own home.
FAVORITE HOLIDAY RECIPES
No matter what holiday you celebrate this season, we cannot get enough of baking our favorite treats! We have several recipes that we make every year as part of our routine. We have made them so much that they have become a tradition every year. The kids don’t feel like it is Christmas until we make these delicious treats. Some of the treats we make and give to friends and family, and others we enjoy while watching our favorite seasonal movie.
Some of our favorite holiday recipes to make together every year are the following:
- graham cracker houses
- homemade toffee
- chocolate gingerbread cookies
- homemade caramels
- apple pie
- raspberry pretzel jello salad
- homemade turtles
- one hour cinnamon roll
With the kitchen being the center of the holiday gatherings, it’s important to have reliable appliances that can keep up with your family’s needs. From extra company to extra dishes and laundry, you don’t want to be stuck with an appliance that can’t keep up. We have been enjoying our Maytag Fingerprint Resistant Stainless Steel kitchen appliances and are excited to get a lot of use out of them this holiday season.
Specifically, we are loving our new Maytag double oven. The double ovens come in handy and allows us to cook multiple dishes at different temperatures, all at the same time – that means double the holiday cookies! It also has the Power Preheat feature that allows my family to enjoy our food faster. You can check out this page to discover the best oven features for your family.
If you find yourself wishing for some new appliances this holiday season, November is a great time to buy. Visit www.Maytag.com/November now through November 28 and get deals on appliances before they’re gone!
OTHER HOLIDAY TRADITIONS
If you are interested in some of our other Holiday traditions that don’t involve holiday baking, check out some of these ideas.
- Sleeping under the Christmas tree on December 23
- Reading a holiday-themed book every night of the season
- Opening a new ornament Christmas Eve
- Getting matching, festive pajamas
- Driving around to see the lights with a cup of hot cocoa
- Holiday movie marathon
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