How to create a meaningful holiday experience while reducing stress

The holidays are a time to celebrate with family and friends and enjoy special meals and times together. But how can we make holiday experiences as meaningful and joyful as possible without wasting energy on the little things?

This article offers tips on how to create memorable holidays by creating meaningful experiences and gatherings. From preparing thoughtful gifts for loved ones to creating calm and peaceful surroundings, these tips will help you have the holidays that are heart-filled!

Gifts for Loved Ones

This is the time of year when families come together and celebrate. But with all the hustle and bustle of the season, it can be hard to find time to relax and enjoy the holiday festivities. That’s where intentions come in! By setting intentions for the holiday season, you can reduce the amount of stress you feel.

Begin by creating a list of things you want to experience, like sharing a meal with loved ones or enjoying a nature walk.

Once you have a clear idea of what you’re hoping for, make sure to set realistic goals. Don’t over-schedule yourself, and make sure to take time for yourself by possibly scheduling some quiet time alone, meditating, or taking a nap. And last but not least, have fun! Being stress-free during the holidays is an ideal, but setting intentions can help you achieve a more mindful and joyful holiday season.

Joyful Holiday

Creating Memories

To make the holiday experience less taxing, create a plan and start organizing early. Make sure to focus on the things that are important to you, and avoid overspending on unnecessary items.

Creating Memories with Kids

Instead, invest in memories that will last a lifetime. In your mind, imagine it’s January and the holidays are behind you, envision a lot of sweet memories with your family or friends. Check in with your heart to see what would have made this a truly meaningful holiday experience. See yourself having these types of experiences that are heart-filled and relaxing. See yourself having been in a state of ease during most of the holiday season. Even if reality counteracts these visions, you are setting powerful intentions for a more peaceful and ease-filled holiday experience.

During the holidays, we tend to focus on traditions. Take some time to reflect on the meaning behind those traditions and ask yourself if they are still traditions that serve you and your loved ones. Traditions are meant as reminders of our identity, heritage, and values in life. Consider that some holiday traditions may not serve you or your loved ones any more. Or possibly consider some new traditions that create a more purposeful and joyful experience for all.

Following Traditions

Hosting meals for guests

If you plan to host meals for friends and family, consider a time when you were a guest and thoroughly enjoyed your time at the gathering. Ask yourself what it was about that time that made the experience truly memorable. Connect with those elements as you plan your gathering; from what you serve to how you greet and are present to your guests.

Hosting Meals

Opening your home and hosting guests is an honor and people come because they want to share and celebrate with you. Keep this in mind if you find yourself stressing about what dessert to serve or other minor details. You don’t need any special recipes or decor, just some comfortable seating, good food/beverages, and you!

Consider what would be your highest wish for the guests you are serving and use this as your guide in planning. By doing this, you’ll ensure that you and your guests have the most memorable time together!

Preparing a gift list for your loved ones

Gift-giving is one of the most cherished traditions in the world. Yet it can be a stressful experience if you don’t prepare.


Before you begin to shop, it’s important to consider what your loved ones would appreciate and use. Call to mind the person and check in with your heart to discern if this gift would be meaningful to the recipient. Think of a time that you spent with him/her, and see if you can find a gift that represents what that time with them meant to you. If it’s difficult to know, just use your best heart-based ideas. (And always get a gift receipt!)

By doing this, you’ll not only reduce the stress but also increase the ease of shopping.

What are some tips to make the holiday season happier and less stressful for everyone involved?

Making a Holiday Calendar

Here are a few tips:

  1. Make a holiday calendar and jot down 1-3 tasks that you will do each day. This way, you will have a better idea of what’s planned and you won’t get overwhelmed with surprises.
  2. Try to stick to your plan allowing for unexpected delays or hindrances. You know that not everything will go as planned, so set the intention early to choose ease when that happens. If something comes up that you can’t avoid and you begin to get stressed about it, use a mantra that will allow you to just go with the flow and handle the situation with ease. One of my favorite mantras is “I choose ease.” And a new one that I have recently found helpful is “I’m collaborating with reality”.
  3. Think about what you truly want to celebrate during the holidays. Ask yourself what gives this time the most meaning to you and your loved ones. And figure out ways that those celebrations can be integrated into your intentions. This will make the holiday season more joyful for you and your loved ones.
  4. Discuss with those closest to you what they enjoy most about holidays and ask them how they can help make the holiday season more meaningful for everyone involved. By working together, everyone can have a great time while honoring their own traditions and values.


Christmas Holiday

As you find yourself in the midst of the holiday season, check in with your heart several times a day, and recall your intentions as you plan and prepare. With a bit of mindfulness and focus, the holidays can be a more joyous and less stressful time.

By focusing on your intentions, you can reduce stress and make the holidays more meaningful for yourself and others. By making choices that support your intentions, you can create the holiday season that you will enjoy remembering.

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