Soul-Wise Living
Soul-Wise Living

How to keep Simple & Spirit in your holidays

This week, I enlisted the support (Yes, I asked for help!) of my good friend Kelly Schaefer of Your Task Complete to write on her secret success strategies on how to maintain sanity through it! I wanted to give you her thoughts on it because she excels at this both personally and in her business (she offers personal concierge services locally and business concierge services globally!)! I know that by following her advice you will also be able to maintain your holiday spirit!
Take it away Kelly ~ and Thank you!!!


The holiday season is fast approaching. Turkeys are being cooked, or perhaps it’s a turducken??  Never tried one personally, but it seems to have a fan following regardless!

simple christmas spirit

However you celebrate the holidays, with holiday preparations, visiting families, travel, and parties, it is inevitable to feel a bit over extended and often stressed. 

Some staggering statistics that the American Psychological Association has reported in regards to stress related concerns during the holidays:

 •            69% of people feel stressed this time of year due to “lack of time”.

•             75% of people feel stressed this time of year.

•             51% of people feel stressed out over the “pressure to give or get gifts”.

The holidays traditionally are a time for family and friends to get together and enjoy each other but with our never ending lists of chores and errands we can easily fall into one of the above categories…

I’ve mapped out a few ways you can prepare for the holidays, with less stress and truly enjoy your quality time with friends and family.

Plan Early:

Take a look at what parties and events you’ll be attending or hosting. Map out the entire next 6 weeks of celebrations.  By looking at a full time line, you’ll be able to visualize everything all at once. From food you need to buy for a holiday dinner to a new outfit you want to purchase for that “Ugly sweater” party! I highly recommend using a paper calendar for this so that you can easily view everything that you are responsible for. Techy folk can then easily upload their lists into their favorite “app” accordingly. 

Create a master list:

Make a list and break it down into categories: gifts, wrapping supplies, decorating supplies, cards, teacher’s gifts, mail man, etc… Next, look at your plan from above and list any house warming gifts, even the new holiday dress you want. List everything! Once you have your list compiled, break it down into “stores”. This will prevent you from having to go back to the same store multiple times for forgotten items. 

Shop Early:

Try to have all your shopping done by no later than 2 weeks before Christmas. The lines and traffic alone will double your normal shopping time. This is such an added stressor that can easily be avoided. Not only does shopping so close to the holiday suck up your time, but it impacts those family oriented activities I’m sure you would prefer to take part in, such as parades and visits with Santa. When buying the gifts be sure to purchase stocking stuffers and all necessary batteries now so you don’t need to make a second trip later.

Set Limits:

First off you don’t have to accept every invitation to every party or event unless this is something you truly look forward to. I’m not sure about you, but I know I’ve gone to a party and totally regretted it afterwards. If it doesn’t bless your soul… say no for a change and spend that quality time in a manner that enriches your life! 


Are you hosting a party? Add some prepared foods to the menu, or consider having a meal catered this time of year. Instead of baking everything yourself, buy from your local bakery. Then heck you can pretend you made it yourself if you want to! Minimize gift swapping this year and consider creating an “experience” for someone instead of buying something that has limited enjoyment to it.

Make it a priority to take care of yourself:

It’s inevitable that even with all the planning you do in advance; we still put additional stress on our bodies this time of year. Be sure to remember to take time for yourself. Schedule a massage. Remember to value your own quiet time to reflect and meditate. Go for a walk in the brisk air.  It’s extremely important to eat healthy and maintain your exercise routine.

Call in for HELP (like Laura did for writing this post!):

This season, why not try to eliminate, simplify and delegate! Here at Task Complete, we support our clients all year, but during the holidays we specialize in helping our clients truly love and enjoy this time of year without the added stress.


Kelly has also offered this valuable tool: Gift List Final PDF  I’m using it this year ~ it’s simplicity of “Making A List and Checking it Twice” amazed me ~ no more ‘List list’ Now i have this! Thank YOU!!! What things can you do from Kelly’s suggestions that will make your holiday easier and your spirits soar? 

If you liked this post, please share it with your friends by clicking the links below! And, remember to share your thoughts below too, I’d love to hear from you!


  1. I think these are great tips for the holidays. I have known family and friends to be very stressed out during the holidays. I believe if you prepare, simplify, and have a plan then the holidays will be a breeze. Also, don’t let all of the media hype get you stressed out as well.

    Comment by Erica — November 25, 2013 @ 12:48 pm

  2. That’s so true about the media and commercialization around it Erica ~ you truly can allow yourself to get stressed out if you lean into it. That’s why last week on my How to Step into & Stay in Spirit this season I showed how the foundation to all of what Kelly tells us is to define Holiday Spirit for yourself and THEN do the rest!!! 🙂

    Comment by Laura Clark — November 25, 2013 @ 1:53 pm

  3. Thank you so much Laura for allowing me to share some of my goodies with your readers! I hope you all have an opportunity to slow down enough to enjoy the chestnuts, the crackling fire, the smell of a fresh cut pine tree and the laughter of family and friends!

    Comment by Kelly — November 27, 2013 @ 2:04 pm

  4. You are welcome!!!!! So glad to share you with my peeps. I might just go for a pre-thanksgiving walk by the river in the pouring rain ~ the fire will be so much more warming then ~ Hugs to you and your’s over this the Thanksgiving holiday weekend!

    Comment by Laura Clark — November 27, 2013 @ 2:07 pm

  5. Excellent advice. I somehow always find the holidays sneaking up on me. I know they are coming – same time every year – but still I am not ready. I think I need to get ready much earlier. Perhaps a giant sticky note on the calendar in September as a reminder. 🙂

    Comment by Deb Prewitt — November 27, 2013 @ 3:02 pm

  6. I think, Deb, my house needs to be wallpapered with many, many giant sticky notes 🙂 🙂 ) Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays to you !

    Comment by Laura Clark — November 28, 2013 @ 8:07 am

  7. So much of it comes down to planning, it seems. Taking the time to think it through and make a plan… so you’re not acting in emergency mode. I just spoke to a friend who’d already done all her Christmas shopping! I was impressed.

    Great tips, all of these. Thank you!

    Comment by Nancy Tierney — November 27, 2013 @ 5:37 pm

  8. It does Nancy ~ planning is essential but without knowing what it REALLY is you want all the planning in the world will end you up in the wrong place. Stephen Covey says “Begin with the end in mind.” Happy Beginning of the Holidays to you 🙂

    Comment by Laura Clark — November 28, 2013 @ 8:08 am

  9. Great tips … love the theme – Simple and Spirit what more could one want 🙂

    Comment by Cindy — November 28, 2013 @ 5:49 pm

  10. Cindy ~ so right! maybe I should tear up that list for Santa 😉 KEEP SMILING

    Comment by Laura Clark — December 2, 2013 @ 6:55 am

  11. The Master Shopping List and categorizing by stores could change my life this year! I vow to put all our family holiday events on the calendar and create a shopping list for them. That way, I won’t be caught off guard, frantically shopping for the Christmas pageant dress two days before it’s needed. Thanks, Kelly & Laura!

    Comment by Lori Nash Byron — December 1, 2013 @ 12:15 pm

  12. Let me know how it goes, Lori!!! To the best Spirit Filled Season Ever for you, I raise my glass full of love 🙂

    Comment by Laura Clark — December 2, 2013 @ 6:56 am

  13. Love all these ideas and the quote by Mary Ann Radmacher to start the blog! The tips about simplifying and taking care of yourself really resonate with me and I look forward to implementing them over the coming weeks. Thank you Kelly and Laura!

    Comment by Kelley Grimes — December 2, 2013 @ 12:15 pm

  14. I love that quote too ~ it actually inspired my next blog post about energy in your home during the holidays and how to decorate with simple intention and flow. You are always welcome, Kelley!

    Comment by Laura Clark — December 2, 2013 @ 12:43 pm

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