Each year it seems we’re trading in our Halloween best for holiday lights earlier and earlier.
The beginning of November has become synonymous with the start of the Holiday season, and while we’re all anticipating the beauty that this season brings with it, it’s hard not to get just a little stressed out over the hustle and bustle. To help you make the most of these all-too-quickly-passing months, today we’re offering up our advice for slowing down and savoring the snowfall, the shopping, and the holiday sweets:
Julie –– Editorial Specialist
There’s plenty to love about falling for someone from your hometown – a mutual understanding of where you come from, a well of knowledge, thousands of feet deep, of your highest highs and lowest lows — navigating major holidays, however, are most definitely not on that list. I grew up just a mere twenty minutes from the man I fell in love with, each of us raised on opposite sides of the New Hampshire and Maine border. We have a lot in common, him and me, similar backgrounds and lives, and similarly scattered families. Families that all managed to settle within a 30 minute drive from one another.
We’re certainly thankful to not have to choose sides when it comes to the holidays, but travelling home does present a challenge: we want to see everybody, and they want to see us. We’re grateful to have this much love in our lives, but it’s hard not to get a little stressed out when major holidays draw near, Thanksgiving especially. An all-day marathon, we hop from one house to another, sharing our thanks with four groups of loved ones. It’s a feat for sure, but one that we look forward to. If you’re in the same boat, I have a few tips for maintaining sanity on a frazzled (but fun!) Thanksgiving Day:
- Start the day with yourself. I love kicking off a busy holiday with an early morning run or hike, it’s the perfect way to gather my thoughts for the day and center myself. Some years I’ll sign up for a 5k race to get myself moving, on others I’ll go for a hike up the mountain in my mother’s backyard, no matter what, it’s important to me to start the day feeling healthy, balanced, and grateful.
- Dress for ease and comfort. If I’m going to be hopping in and out of the car from morning ‘till night, you better believe I’m going to be comfortable while doing it. I like to dress up just a little, with an easy dress, walkable boots, and lots of layers to stay warm and cozy.
- Plan ahead. Timing is everything when it comes to visiting multiple homes in one day. Take note of what everyone is doing, and when, and plan your day accordingly. Communicate and set expectations ahead of time, so everyone knows your game plan.
- Rest and reset. Remember to take some time for yourself throughout the day to give thanks for what you have. It may feel crazy jumping from house to house, but in the end that abundance of love and family should be celebrated. Enjoy it, but be sure to give yourself some time, too.
Jana — Blog Writer
The holidays get me excited because it’s the one time of the year when I get to travel home and spend time with my family. But as much as I anticipate this trip, I can’t help but worry, because the days I have there always come and go in the blink of an eye. It’s difficult, splitting up the hours between seeing old friends, spending time with my mom, dad and brother, and re-visiting my favorite places, so I’ve made a point to really think about the time I have before making solid plans with anyone. Realistically, I never accomplish absolutely everything I have set in my head that I want do, so I think about the things that mean the most, and prioritize from there. My family… my roots… that’s number one. Being so far away in Philadelphia most of the year really makes me appreciate the time I get to spend with them. They say distance makes the heart grow fonder, and I believe that speaks for any kind of relationship.
Leaving the cold for the Florida sunshine is also a pretty nice perk, but packing for a warmer climate when I’m used to bundling up is a little mind boggling, especially when it comes to traveling from airport to airport. To make the trip just a little smoother, I’ve found that planning ahead and wearing plenty of light layers is key. With a big tote thrown over my arm, and easy boots to slip on and off as I go through security, I’m able to breeze through to my gate all while staying cozy in the chilly Philadelphia air.
Once I land on Florida ground, I’ll swap out my boots for the pair of Birkenstocks I’ve stashed in my carry-on, and all those extra layers can be folded up and stashed inside my bag in favor of baring arms and legs to the warmth of the sun.
Aubrie — Blog Intern
This time of year can bring on a lot of overwhelming feelings, especially when you’re trying to balance final exams with holiday shopping. As a student, the holiday season means one thing for me… no class! The days leading up to my time off always seem to drag on, but once it finally arrives I’m so used to being bogged down with projects, tests, and homework that the break almost brings a sort of shock to my everyday life. When vacation finally starts, my attention suddenly shifts to seeing old friends rather than turning in assignments, and life seems to turn from chaotic to calm in a matter of days. Over the years, I’ve figured out some things that give me peace of mind and help make the transition from school to vacation just a little smoother throughout the holiday season:
In the time leading up to your break, be sure to stay organized, know exactly what you need to do for the home stretch of your classes. This also applies to your holiday shopping list,if you have a large social circle like me, make a list of who you plan to exchange gifts with so your shopping doesn’t get out of hand or overwhelming.
As a college student you’re most likely operating on a budget, so when it comes to gifting don’t be afraid to think of alternatives. You’ve heard it over and over again but it’s true, it’s the thought that really counts. Consider creating a DIY gift or giving an experience to the loved ones on your list, there’s no need to add to the stress of school by feeling obligated to break the bank.
Once school is out, coming home is always exciting but it can also quickly become apparent just how much you’re not used to living there. With no schoolwork to keep you busy, it’s easy to get very lazy very fast. I’ve succumbed to these bad habits many times by waking up well past noon and getting into unnecessary arguments with siblings. Remind yourself that the break is only temporary, and that it’s actually the perfect opportunity to ground yourself. It’s perfectly acceptable to take time for relaxation, but try to fit in some of the things that you don’t normally have the chance to do while you’re in school. I love finally having the time to sit down and read a book, and this year I’m hoping to do all of the amazing crafts I’ve been pinning on Pinterest. Your reset button might just be a night on the couch with your mom watching the snow fall; the holidays are the perfect time to reconnect with your sense of home, make the time to do the things you love with the ones you love.
Whether we’re figuring out just how to fit four Thanksgiving dinners into one day, road-tripping home to our families, or leaping from final exams to a work-free week off, the right soundtrack can make all the difference. Before we leave you to kick off your own holiday planning prep, we’re sharing a few of our favorite songs. The songs that help get us through this wonderful, but admittedly hectic, time of year. Take a listen and be sure to share your tips for staying joyful throughout this gorgeous season in the comments: