Avoid holiday burnout

Are you hoping to avoid holiday burnout this year? Are you already overcome and overwhelmed and just ready for the holiday season to be over? I hope that’s not the case for you! Read on for some suggestions for avoiding or recovering from holiday burnout.

Holiday burnout – you know what I’m referring to, of course. Your list of regular tasks is already so long, and when you add in all the extra Christmas/holiday tasks and events – your list seems like it goes on forever! Hey, my regular Monday to-do lists are often like that – if I can complete everything on Monday’s list by Friday, it is nigh unto miraculous! To many of you, the Christmas miracle is getting at least half the items on your Christmas to-do lists crossed off before New Year!

And long before then, you are ready to give up and quit and find a place to hide in a cave until January. So much for enjoying the holiday season. We always pretend we are having a grand time, but throughout those festive activities, our brains are thinking of all the things that we still need to complete and how there are not enough hours in the day to get them all done. We are already burned out, and Christmas is still two weeks away!

So, keep reading and check out these two simple ways to avoid holiday burnout and a couple of suggestions for recovering this year and enjoying the rest of the Christmas season.

How to Avoid Holiday Burnout

How to Avoid Holiday Burn Out


Learn to simplify Christmas. Make life easier for yourself, your kids, and everyone around you. You will eliminate some of the stress in your life and your family. Your kids pick up on that stress, you know. They will enjoy Christmas more if you are less stressed about everything!

Simplify Your Activity List

I get it – there are so many fun things to do during the Christmas season – plays, parties, church activities, family get-togethers, caroling, visiting, all the Christmas light displays – too many things. You don’t have to do them all! Go through your list or your calendar and identify mandatory events and activities. Highlight them on your calendar – you can’t miss these things! Then use a different color highlighter and mark the activities your kids are most excited to do. Now, look at the rest of the events on your list. Which ones don’t matter? Cross them out! If you can eliminate several unnecessary events from your calendar, you are helping to simplify your Christmas!

Simplify Your Gift Giving

If you can simplify your gift list, you will remove a tremendous burden from your life. Also, your budget will thank you! While we like to include everyone we know, it is not always practical or realistic. Also, maybe we need to pare down the number of gifts we give to our children. Do they need, I don’t know, a dozen presents each?! Put some limits on gift-giving and see how they help you simplify Christmas and avoid holiday burnout.

Simplify Your Baking List

I am so guilty of needing to do this, especially since most of my baking “elves” have left home. And my list of baking ideas keeps getting longer! I need to stay off Pinterest! Sure, make that list of Christmas cookies, fudge, candies. Let it grow each year with new ideas or discoveries. That is part of the fun. But when it comes to executing all those baking ideas, learn to set limits. Bake and create until you are tired of it, and then stop. Don’t push yourself to bake until you drop or have crossed out everything on the baking list! Just stop when it isn’t fun for you or the kids anymore.

Simplify Your Expectations

Every holiday season does not need to exceed everything you have ever done for Christmas in the past! It is not necessary to decorate every inch of your home, inside and out, for it to be a great Christmas! Too often, we get so involved in all the “things” of Christmas we forget about the reason for Christmas. Christ was born in a stable. That was enough for the Son of God. The angels still celebrated; the shepherds still came in awe. All the things we connect with celebrating Christmas are just extras, not necessities. Shift your focus to the real reason for Christmas, and simplify the extras.

Just Say No

For many of us, saying “no” is not easy. We are people-pleasers who want to make others happy. But if we aren’t happy ourselves, doesn’t that defeat the purpose? Are all those “things” keeping our kids happy? Or our spouse? We need to learn to say “no!” (And not just during the Christmas season, either!)

Say “No” Judiciously

Don’t decline every invitation you receive. It’s not necessary to eliminate every extra event from your social calendar. Instead, review each invitation, each event, evaluate each one honestly. Will the event/activity/invitation be detrimental to your family’s physical, spiritual, mental, or social health? Will you hurt someone if you decline their invitation? Can you ask to postpone an invitation or event until after the holidays? Discuss each invitation with your spouse and make joint decisions on which activities to enjoy and which ones you need to decline.

Say “No” Tactfully

No matter the event or invitation, always be kind, be polite, and gracious when turning down an invitation. Consider proposing an alternative event. “I’m sorry, but we are not able to come over this weekend. Could we, perhaps, get together after the Christmas holidays are over? I am sure we will all be more relaxed and better able to enjoy our evening together.” Perhaps you need to tell your children that, while you would love to take them ice skating tonight, we have too many other things that we must do now. So, why don’t we plan to go ice skating next Thursday morning? Or whatever. Then, make sure you put that on the calendar and carry through with your plan! When you must decline an invitation, always be kind!

Say No to Excessive Spending

If you fall into this trap, let me encourage you to say “no” to excessive spending! Sure, we always spend extra during the holidays but learn to keep that additional spending under control. You don’t need every purchase every inflatable in the store for your lawn decorations. Your kids don’t need every toy, game, or electronic device the store sells.

How to Recover from Holiday Burnout

Holiday Burnout Recovery

Are you already burned out by the holidays this year? Did holiday excess begin at Thanksgiving and increase since then? Is it time for an intervention? It’s not too late to start your recovery!

  1. Stop and take inventory
  2. Focus on the true meaning of Christmas
  3. Recognize that your (and your family’s) spiritual, mental, and physical health is more important that doing or being everything to everyone
  4. Realize that your family is more important than “all the things”
  5. Decide what is most important and try to eliminate much of the rest

Lower your expectations and start simplifying

Start saying “NO”

You CAN recover the joy of the Christmas season when you learn to simplify your Christmas expectations and begin to say “no” to some of the extras! Focusing on Christ, your relationship with him, and your connection with your family will help you avoid or recover from the horrible holiday burnout syndrome!

Check out these posts for additional ideas to survive the craziness of Christmas:

Let Them Help

Holidays and Homeschooling

What Homeschool Moms Really Want for Christmas

Homeschool Gift Ideas

Carol Rhine Rhine Home School Services

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