Celebrate the Season Your Way

The Organizing Blog offers a lot of advice throughout the year to inspire readers to lead #tidy, #organized and #productive lives. During the #holiday season especially, we suggest ways to save money, reduce waste and cut #clutter even as you celebrate and give gifts.

But the #holiday season can be overwhelming and inspire just as much anxiety and stress as it does joy. That’s why we urge you to celebrate in a way that’s true to yourself this year — even if you have to put your #decluttering goals temporarily on hold.

The holiday season exposes us to lots of unusual demands and expectations, CBC says. Don’t overcommit or try to live up to unrealistic ideals, or you’ll burn out before you unwrap your first gift.

Many traditions were delayed, cancelled or otherwise upended during COVID, and it’s OK to mourn their loss. But you can use your creativity to can create new traditions, Psychology Today says, that help you relax and get in the spirit of the season.

That might mean baking cookies, relaxing by a fire, candlelight yoga, putting up decorations or hosting a #Christmas movie marathon. Or it might mean none of those things — there’s no wrong answer when it comes to treating yourself to a happy holiday.

Some people prefer to skip the gift exchange and family feast altogether, says Refinery 29. One woman — a retail worker — likes to get Chinese food after the holiday rush, and another uses vacation days every December for a bucket-list trip. Another writes a letter to herself every year.

Don’t forget yourself and your needs as you make holiday plans. There’s only so much of you to go around, and celebrating in the way you wish ensures that everyone who does get a little of your attention sees you at your very best.

Here’s to a safe and happy holiday season from ClothingDonations.org!

Start Planning Your Holiday Feast Now

Food prices are up across the board, but you can still feed your family and friends a great #holiday dinner for not a lot of money. Pork and poultry make for inexpensive main dishes, and bulk-purchased root vegetables such as potatoes, carrots and onions can contribute to filling and crowd-pleasing sides. For an easy and plentiful main, serve a hearty seasonal soup and finger foods; or go for a more traditional sit-down meal. Plan ahead — and stick to the plan — to keep food costs in check. Stuck for inspiration? Delish offers 65 classic recipes to get you started. #HolidayTips

Plan Ahead to Keep Food Costs in Check

Plan ahead to make your #holiday #feast thrifty but memorable, says Good Cheap Eats. Knowing what you’ll cook ahead of time allows you to shop the grocery-store specials for the best prices on ingredients. And while people often expect turkey and ham on Thanksgiving, the December holidays more often rely on family traditions that emphasize hearty favorites such as tamales, stews or lasagna. Or you can think outside of the box for your feast, serving all finger foods, hot sandwiches or anything else your friends and family enjoy. Make things ahead if you really want to relax and enjoy the company. #HolidayTips

Have a Holiday Potluck to Save Time and Money

If you’re hosting a crowd but don’t have the time, energy or money to do everything yourself, a #potluck #holiday #feast is the way to go. Just set up a Google signup sheet so that your meal doesn’t wind up with duplicate dishes, says Kitchn— or worse, starve any guests with dietary restrictions. You can handle the main course and/or a signature beverage, then proved mise en place for all of the donated dishes. Not only can a potluck keep a large meal simple, it can help groups share holiday favorites and become a centerpiece of the festivities’ conversation. #HolidayTips

Make a Memorable Holiday Feast on the Cheap

Is it your turn to host a #holiday feast? To make things memorable without breaking the bank, streamline your menu, says GoBankingRates. Pick a hearty main course, a couple of side dishes and a dessert. “A full menu may look appealing and easy to accomplish now, [but] remember that you may be busier when it’s time to begin cooking,” the story warns. You can feed family and friends on $5 to $15 per person if you plan ahead and work backward from an established budget. Keep the guest list small to keep costs — and the labor necessary to cook, clean and entertain — at a minimum. #HolidayTips