9 Ways to Enjoy a No Sweat Holiday Season

Someone once said the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year. So, why does it feel like that’s an unattainable ideal? If for you, the holiday season conjures visions of crazed shoppers storming department stores, overcommitting to way too many holiday parties, and stuffing yourself beyond belief (ok, maybe that last one isn’t all that bad), then you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve compiled 9 tried and true ways to enjoy a no-sweat holiday season. So, skip the holidaze and focus on what truly brings you cheer.

Man with gold confetti all around

Why it’s important

From about mid-November to the end of the year, there seems to be a never-ending parade of events to attend, meals to plan, and shopping to do. The influx of tasks and commitments is downright overwhelming, not to mention, you’re losing valuable time that you could be spending doing things that energize, rather than drain. This year, we challenge you to take back the last two months of the year and give yourself the ultimate gift: peace of mind.

Friends hugging at holiday party

1. Stay Net Positive

Do more of what brings you joy and less of what brings you down. An activity here or commitment there may not be a big deal, but the sum of all of your commitments may be too much. Learn to say no to things that don’t serve you or find less demanding ways to engage with others. For example, if you’re invited to a holiday party and asked to bring a dish, don’t break out your most challenging recipe that takes hours to make. Choose a simple salad instead, or *gasp*, grab a pre-made option from the store. It’s ok. Really! You'll be able to spend more time enjoying yourself and the company of others.

Woman in bed listening to music

2. Schedule “me” time

Just as you schedule appointments and meetings, pencil in time for yourself to take a mini-retreat from the day. Even taking just 10 minutes to meditate, doodle in your sketchbook, or enjoy some stretches outside can have a surprisingly powerful impact. Not sure how to squeeze it in? Make “me” time a reward. Take a walk outside your office after you finish wading through emails each morning. Or, treat yourself to a bubble bath and crank the spa music instead of your nightly shower. Whenever you schedule it, make it routine. If it’s easy to incorporate into your day, you’ll be able to stick with it and start soaking up the benefits. Here are a few ideas of how to spend your “me” time:  

Woman stirring orange dutch oven on stove

3. Keep it low key

We’re all guilty of going overboard every now and again, especially during the holidays. You might feel pressured to execute a meal of epic proportions for your entire extended family or buy gifts for everyone and their second cousin, twice removed. But at the end of the day, the most important part of getting together is to be together. That’s it. Pick recipes that are reasonable to make for a crowd. Opt out of gifts, and opt into a no-stakes game of charades. Or maybe you rally your guests to cook with you. Dole out duties like the executive chef you are… especially the clean up.

Younger man helping older man exit car with his walker

4. Give back

This is one of the best ways to pull yourself out of a holiday whirlwind. The holidays, and winter more generally, can be challenging for many. Consider volunteering your time to support an organization you care about. While it’s always helpful to donate money, there is no greater gift than donating your time to shine a little light on someone’s day.

Father and son sitting on couch looking at phones

5. Limit screen time

There’s nothing more 21st century than the portrait of a family gathered around, heads bent over their phones, not a word being uttered. If this resonates with you, here are a few recommendations:

  • On holidays, avoid the never ending scroll by abstaining from social media and online shopping.
  • Set your out-of-office reply.
  • Separate from your phone. Give yourself “windows” when you use your phone. Otherwise put it out of sight. If you need your phone on hand, turn off mobile data, so you can only receive calls and texts.
  • If you put a movie on for the kids, carve out time to sit down and watch with them.

Woman sitting on floor looking at laptop and cell phone

6. Advance planning

Track commitments on a calendar. Share it with your partner or family members so everyone’s working from the same one. This will help avoid double booking and keep everyone in the loop. If it can be helped, avoid leapfrogging to multiple events in a single day. Enjoy the time you spend doing each activity without worrying about getting to the next one.

If something comes up last minute, evaluate whether it’s a net positive activity. If it’s only going to stress you out, politely decline the invitation. There’s always next year. And, of course, nothing is stopping you from recreating the holiday spirit with those you missed after the official season has concluded. Post-holiday celebrations are an awesome life hack.

Yes we're open sign on shop window

7. Shop early

Obviously, shopping early can be a huge stress reliever. But if you’re down to the wire and have nothing for that someone special on your list, don’t fret. There are plenty of amazing last-minute options, like a donation to a beloved charity or a thoughtful card containing a handwritten note. 

Woman in shop looking at journals

8. Shop consciously

If you need a vacation from consumerism but still want to exchange gifts, try a new tack. During some of your “me” time, create a short list of values as they relate to your spending habits. What type of businesses do you want to support?

Here are some considerations to start you off:

  • Does the brand story resonate with you?
  • Do the brand’s values align with yours?
  • Do their products feel unique and special?
  • Are the products handcrafted or made with love? Are they small or independently-owned?
  • Are they local?
  • Are they a BIPOC-led business?
  • Are they woman-owned?
  • Are they LGBTQ+ owned?
  • Do they clearly communicate their sustainability initiatives?
  • Are they a 1% for the Planet partner?
  • Do they have a charitable contributions program?

Finding local or online shops that share your values can make it infinitely easier to find meaningful gifts your recipient will treasure.

Young woman smelling deodorant in desert

9. Keep it fresh

Sneaking “me” time into your day is one of our superpowers here at Humble Brands. Something as simple as applying your deodorant each morning or soaping up in the shower suddenly becomes a centering daily ritual. Let our transportive scents carry you away, even if just for a momentary escape. Plus, you can share the love and check a few more people off your list.

With the right perspective and some creative thinking, this holiday season can be as chill as you want it to be. Although if you do decide to go full-bore, keep a stick of your Humble Brands deodorant handy.


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