Simple Ways to Enjoy the Holidays


Girls sipping hot chocolate outside at a holiday event.The holiday season is upon us! This comes with so much magic but also a lot of work. Often, moms are responsible for making the magic happen, and that’s a lot of pressure

I wholeheartedly believe the holiday spirit is about celebrating, spending time with loved ones, and making memories. I also want to enjoy this time of the year and not wear myself out to meet unrealistic expectations. 

That’s why I looked hard at where I want to focus, what I can let go of, and what I’ll commit to.    

First up, gifts. 

I love to shop and can rarely pass up a sale. I like to channel this love for sales into gifts for others. Whether it’s gifts for birthdays, holidays, or Christmas, I often buy them throughout the year and give them when the date comes. This year, I started listing exactly what I’ve purchased and who it’s for. I keep this in my notes on my phone so I won’t forget how much I’ve spent and what I have. This stops me from panic purchasing and overspending in December and hopefully means none of the gifts will be forgotten in their hiding spots!  

Next up, holiday cards. 

For the past decade, I’ve sent out about 100 cards with the perfectly posed family picture, just the right card stock, and a special quote to encapsulate our wish for the new year. It’s time-consuming, stressful, and expensive. This year, I’m taking a break! Don’t get me wrong, I love to receive them, but I need a break from creating ours. Instead, I’ll use the money for a donation to a local charity while sending a handful of handwritten, more personalized cards.  

A day off.

A few years ago, I instituted a day off, and it’s one of my favorite ways to use that precious PTO. This entails clearing the calendar and taking a day off work to get things wrapped, shipped, and organized. It’s no fun staying up all night to wrap presents frantically. If I make the time to spread out gift wrapping, I include sparkly ribbons and pretty bows. The gifts feel a little more special, and we can enjoy them under the tree, too. Pro tip: Make sure your day off is not a day the kids are off from school!  

Finally, protect your time. 

There’s so much going on at this time of the year, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed or try to do it all. Make sure you put the most important events on the calendar first so you can see what time you have left. Scheduling family downtime isn’t a bad idea either. Slowing down and not overcommitting creates a space to be more present in the moment. Creating some rules can help determine what you attend. 

For instance, when my kids were younger, it seemed every event included a Santa meet and greet. That can be very confusing for little kids. We attended a maximum of two Santa-attended events each season and skipped the rest. This was to limit questions about what he was doing at them and also maintain our sanity! It was a win for my family! 

No matter how you spend the end of the year, I hope my tips and commitments will inspire you to evaluate your preparations. Making the holidays your own is what it’s all about, and that looks different for everyone.  

What’s something you do to survive the holiday bustle?

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Alison G
Alison lives in Trumbull with her husband, dog Hazel and two daughters (2011 and 2015).   Although Alison grew up in the warmth of Ft. Myers, FL, she returned to New York immediately after graduating college. During her nearly ten years in Manhattan, Alison built a career and an amazing network of lifelong friends. She met her husband and was married there as well. When it was time for more space, they moved up the line to Stamford and then settled in Trumbull ten years ago. Some of Alison's favorite things are traveling, finding adventures, reading, and staying connected to family and friends.


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