17 Things You Should (and Shouldn’t) Focus on This Holiday Season
After all, you’re only human
It’s no secret that the holidays can take a serious toll on our peace of mind. Instead of harping on every little detail this year, focus your energy on things that will actually matter. (Spoiler: No one is going to care if your linens don’t match.) In an attempt to help you prep as much as possible, we’ve teamed up with the folks at Dunkin’ Donuts to show you 17 things that should (and shouldn’t) get your undivided attention.
1. Not a professional gift wrapper? Don’t fret. While technically it’s the thought that counts, you can give your presents some polish by nabbing yourself an extra-large sheet of butcher paper and a roll of velvet ribbon. No frills, but it looks more presentable than a cardboard box.
2. Send out holiday cards. You’ll never regret it.
3. Oh, and Paperless Post online cards totally count.
4. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you accidentally eat one too many servings of mashed potatoes. Tomorrow is a new day (and who could resist those fluffy peaks of perfection?).
5. Also, don’t beat yourself up if your niece Lindsay suddenly informs you—at the dinner table—that she’s now gluten-free. How were you supposed to know?
6. If your home is doubling as a hotel, be sure to make everything super accessible so guests don’t feel like they’re bothering you. For starters, keep a coffee cart or tray fully stocked so they can serve themselves as they please. Load it up with the basics like Dunkin’ Bakery Series coffee, big mugs and all the sweeteners their little hearts could possibly desire.
7. Three words: Chocolate. Charcuterie. Board. Watch our how-to video ASAP.
8. Unless there’s some serious drama, it’s not worth racking your brain about where to place every member of your family around the dinner table. Here’s the plan: Pick a seat, start a convo and let the night roll on.
9. Word to the wise: This is not the time to test new recipes. Instead, stick to the classics (Grandma’s famous potato au gratin) and you won’t hear a peep from the peanut gallery.
10. But if you can’t resist experimentation, try these foolproof slow-cooker holiday desserts.
11. There may be a lot going on, but try to stick to your normal schedule as much as possible. If you usually take a morning jog or stroll, continue to do it—just invite Aunt Liz this time. That little bit of routine behavior will keep you sane.
12. Use the holiday as an excuse to be a tourist in your hometown. Now the decision is, ice skating in the park or the local transit museum?
13. Donate your time to a charity of your choice.
14. Whether you want to energize a lifeless party or bring some order to the chaos, introduce one of these iPhone party games. (So much better than mindlessly flipping through Instagram.)
15. Even though your refrigerator is covered in party invites, it’s not necessary to attend every single one. Make it a point to decline at least one and swap your party dress for your (cashmere) sweats.
16. Buy tickets to see The Nutcracker. Or the Rockettes. Or a screening of A Charlie Brown Christmas. It’s OK to feed into the cheesy hype at least once this time of year.
17. Reward yourself for getting through the season by scheduling a post-holiday detox—meaning, a detox from family, friends and any responsibilities that may have been weighing on you. Get a manicure, go shopping, book an hour-long massage. Hey, relaxation looks good on you.