10 Tips to Help You Relax During the Holidays

Relax-during-the-holidays

We all know this time of year can be crazy. Parties, out-of-town guests, more parties, gift-buying, even MORE parties (seriously, where do all those parties come from??). Add on the stress of complex family relationships, work deadlines, travel, and crazy weather...Boom! You’re in I’m-going-to-lose-my-mind-stat territory. While I can’t help you get along better with your sister-in-law or make those work deadlines go away, I do have a few ideas for making this December just a little more peaceful.

Relax During the Holidays Tip #1

Look, you don’t need the world’s finest sheets for a guest bed. But wouldn’t it be nice if they were soft, didn’t need to be ironed, and were easy to put on the bed? Enter Target’s Performance Sheet Sets—400 thread count and 100% cotton sateen.

 

I have a set that I’ve used regularly for about a year and a half. Not only are they so very soft and comfy, but the fitted sheet has elastic all the way around (plus another set of elastic bands higher up on the corners for smaller mattresses). It stays in place perfectly, even with an extra foam topper on the mattress. Even better, it's labeled with handy little tags inside that say Side or Top/Bottom making it super easy to make the bed.

Relax During the Holidays Tip #2

Bed-in-a-bag is the fastest (and simplest) way to cover up those sheets, but most are a) not very attractive and b) not very good quality. Not so with Eastern Accent’s bedding. Their bedding is gorgeous and amazing quality. You can mix and match or order an entire ensemble and it should arrive (usually WITH pillow and duvet inserts!) in just a couple of weeks. There are exceptions, of course, but they’re my favorite go-to for coordinated bedding.

 

Relax During the Holidays Tip #3

Confession time: do you have one of those utensil drawers where everything in the world is jumbled together in a confusing mess? When I’m in the groove baking cookies or cooking a big family dinner, I like to have all of my utensils handy and easy to grab. To me, a catchall drawer is just an extra frustration that I don’t need. On the other hand, I’m not a big fan of most of the utensil containers out there--too boring. The best way I’ve found to corral all of those spatulas, scrapers, whisks, and spoons is to store them in a flower pot. Yes, a flower pot. Or decorative planter if you want to sound a little fancier.

Mine came from Lowe’s. I washed it out and stuck one of those self-adhesive wall protectors on the bottom so it wouldn’t scratch my counters. Voila! An artsy utensil holder. Pretty, useful, and inexpensive.


Relax During the Holidays Tip #4

Wobble bowls from Speechless Studios are great gifts, but they’re also wonderful serving bowls.

Available in three colors and sizes that nest inside each other, they’ll be a colorful addition to your party buffet! (Now I’ve got the “Weebles wobble, but they won’t fall down!” song stuck in my head.)

Relax During the Holidays Tip #5

Most of us are going to spend at least a little time wrapping gifts this time of year. Do yourself a HUGE favor—get gift wrap with a grid on the back. My favorite comes from Hobby Lobby. It’s got that all-important grid, has about 100 sf a roll, and is the perfect weight for wrapping presents.

For some reason, I don’t have much luck finding it most of the year, but during November/December they stock an entire aisle near their Christmas ornaments (usually at 50% off). A bunch of their patterns can even be used for other occasions throughout the year, like this damask. (Can't wrap a present to save your life? Check out my tutorial. It's easy, I promise!)

 

Relax During the Holidays Tip #6

This one’s not sexy, but oh-so-practical. Want an absorbent cleaning cloth that can be used for everything from dusting to sopping up spills to substituting for disposable Swiffer cloths (wet and dry)? Cloth diapers are the answer. (I use six-ply pre-folded cloth diapers from Gerber.) Just throw them in the washer when they’re dirty. You’ll save time and money!

 

Relax During the Holidays Tip #7

I really, really don’t like shopping for clothes. So much so that I tend to just buy several different colors of whatever fits and move on. That, in turn, leads to a Very. Boring. Wardrobe. Yuck. This past year, though, I tried Stitch Fix. Basically, they ask a bunch of questions and then a personal stylist selects 5 clothing/accessory items to send you. The stylist also includes a card with suggestions for a couple ways to wear each item. *Cue the harps and angels* It was fantastic. I’d say that the majority of the items I would never have picked out for myself, but that was the whole point. I got fun clothes (and a couple of necklaces) that look great and I didn’t have to fight crowds. AND, if you need something (or a couple somethings) to wear to special events? Just let the stylist know. They can help with that, too.

 

Relax During the Holidays Tip #8

Ice, ice, baby! I don’t know about you, but I tend to take my time with my drinks. Unfortunately, that usually translates to an extremely watered down last few sips if I’ve put ice in it. Luckily for me, these babies exist.

They're Tovolo Highball Ice Molds. (The link is to Williams-Sonoma, but I saw them on Amazon recently at about half that price for Prime members.) These are great little stocking-stuffers and hostess gifts!

Relax During the Holidays Tip #9

You’ll definitely want to keep some Bark Thins around, just in case your nerves start to get frazzled and need a little pick-me-up. So tasty! Fair Trade Certified dark chocolate and non-GMO verified ingredients means you can indulge without a guilty conscience. (The Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed with Sea Salt is my favorite!)

 

Relax During the Holidays Tip #10

Last, but not least, is a little something to treat yourself. I am absolutely in love with Journey to the Unknown I by Ferdos Maleki. Prints of other pieces of her work are available at Art.com, but this particular piece is a giclée on canvas with gold toned embellishments, from Ethan Allen. As gorgeous as it is online, it’s even more amazing in person. Go ahead, you deserve it!


Alright, gang, that's it. Have a blast this December!

*Note: This post does not have any affiliate links and all opinions are simply that, my opinions.*