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Upper Valley Events - 12/15

Midwinter Revels
12/15 @ 7PM - Claremont Opera House
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Breakfast with Santa
12/16 @ 9AM - Veterans of Foreign Affairs
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Christmas Game Night
12/16 @ 6:30PM - Ascutney Union Church
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Winter Wonders Extravaganza
12/16 @ 7:30PM - Claremont Opera House
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Holiday Pop-Up Market
12/17 @ 1PM - Harpoon Brewery
Find More Info Here!
Mini Winter Photo Shoots
12/17 @ 1PM - Enfield Shaker Museum
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Blue Christmas Service
12/17 @ 2PM - Lebanon Congregational Church
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Movie Night
12/18 @ 5:30PM - Blake Memorial Library
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Community Carol Sing
12/23 @ 4PM - Enfield Shaker Museum
Find More Info Here!
Stay Sane During The Holidays

October-December are some of my favorite months of the year. I love the holidays and now that I’m a mom, I’m SO excited to make some core memories and special holiday traditions with my little family!
Let’s be honest, though… it can be really easy to overstuff our calendars the last few months of the year if we don’t go into the season with a plan.
And that’s what I’ve got for you today – 5 tips that you can apply to help you actually enjoy the holiday season instead of wanting to shut yourself in your closet and scream into a pillow at the end of every week.
Keep in mind as you listen that some of these will work for you and some of them might not be applicable to your season – that’s okay! The whole eat the fish, spit out the bones thing applies here.

01: Outsource tasks to free up your time and energy.
This is definitely something that I lean more into during the holidays. Outsourcing is delegating things that you normally do to others. You can do this within your home so asking your kids to do more around the house or your partner to do a task that you normally do like cooking dinner.Or if you have the means, you can hire people/companies to help you free up time and energy.I think when a lot of people hear that, they automatically think, “Oh I can’t afford that.” – which could be true and that’s valid and this tip might be one that you have to throw out.But speaking from experience, some delegation services are more affordable than you think and remember that you’re just doing them for a few weeks/months – not indefinitely.Also, a lot of the time, when we hire someone to delegate a task to, it ends up being more of an investment than an expense because we get back time and energy. Plus I think about how it’s mutually beneficial – I’m paying someone to do something that I’d like to save time on in this season… they’re getting money and I’m getting time.And hey, you can always do a trade-off – maybe for the month of November, you are going to make coffee at home instead of going to Starbucks and you’re going to delegate your grocery shopping via a grocery delivery service.Or trade babysitting with your neighbor. So like every other Friday, you can watch their kids with your kids for a few hours while they do whatever they need to do and then the next Friday they can watch all the kids while you do what you need to do.Some ideas for things you can delegate during the holidays to save time and energy:~ Cleaning - hire a cleaner to come in once a month or every other week~ Laundry - hire a laundry service to wash, dry, fold, and deliver your laundry every week~ Grocery shopping - use a grocery delivery service like Shipt~ Cooking - hire a meal prep and delivery serviceI think it’s important to preserve and protect our time and energy during the holiday season because otherwise, it’s too easy to pour all of our energy out and then we’re left running on E by the time mid-December gets here and the end of the year is an exhausting blur instead of a special time making memes with the fam.Outsourcing tasks is a way to do this!

02: Communicate boundaries ahead of time.
This is one that I am taking very seriously this year. My daughter’s birthday is December 8 so right in the midst of the holidays. I’m recording this in September and I’ve already had people asking me about her first birthday party and Christmas gifts – which don’t get me wrong, I’m so stoked that people are excited to celebrate her, seriously.But I also had to straight up tell people that we aren’t doing a big party for her first birthday. We’re doing a more intimate family dinner to celebrate.And I also made a wish list for her birthday and Christmas that has gifts that Adam and I are cool with her having. We’re not into loud or light up toys so we don’t want people buying that kind of stuff for her.I was unsure of how our family would react when I told them that we had a wish list for her – I wondered if they would think that was weird or rude but so far, everyone has really loved it because #1 it makes shopping super easy for them and #2 they know that she’ll actually get use out of whatever they buy her.As we head into the holidays, I think it’s important to communicate boundaries ahead of time so that you don’t get into an awkward situation if it can be avoided. Don’t wait for someone to cross a boundary before letting them know it exists.Some other examples of boundaries that you might need to set ahead of time:~ Letting your parents know that it’s important to cultivate family traditions for your immediate family so you’ll be spending Christmas morning at your home with your partner and kids but can’t wait to see them around lunchtime.~ Letting your aunt know that you’re so excited to come to her house to enjoy a meal on Thanksgiving with the family and that you’ll be bringing your own sides because your doctor recommended a gluten-free diet and you feel your best when you don’t have gluten.~ Letting your mother-in-law know that you, your partner, and your kids are super excited to go trick or treating in your own neighborhood and they’re more than welcome to drive over and join (if you’re usually expected to go to their neighborhood to trick or treat or attend a trunk or treat at their church or something)I talk about boundaries allll the time because I really do believe that boundaries are what protect your priorities. Boundaries keep you from spreading yourself too thin and burning out and giving the crumbs of your time and energy to the things that matter most to you.
If you’re a Hustle Sanely BFF, you’re in for a treat because our topic for Quarter 4 is all about boundaries – we’re talking about why they matter, how to create them, and how to uphold them.

03: Show up for your self-care habits.
When life gets full, that’s when most people let their self-care habits fall to the wayside. And that is why you crash and burn and feel like a wild woman.Yes, I’m all about living a peacefully productive life but I’m also a realist – full times of the year, like the holiday season, probably isn’t the time for intricate/over-the-top self-care routines.In fact, as I’m recording this, we are in the thick of planner season, which is one of the busiest times of the year for me and my family.A few episodes ago, I shared a routine that we have been loving as a family – our Friday Jess day, Saturday Adam day, and Sunday family day routine.Since we are packing thousands of planner orders right now on top of our regular life stuff, that isn’t feasible. We don’t have time to each take an entire day for self-care.So instead, we’ve adjusted this routine to make sense for our season. Instead of me spending all of Friday self-caring, I spend 1-2 hours self-caring. And same for Adam on Saturdays.Once planner season slows down a bit, we can go back to our full day each, but right now, we need that extra time to pack orders.When you know a full season is upon you, it’s important to design self-care habits and routines that are sustainable instead of putting self-care on the back burner altogether because that will bite you in the booty.You might think you’ll get more done if you skip self-care– and maybe you will for a week or 2, but think about it like this: a car needs gas to run and you need self-care to run. A car can run on E for a few miles but then it breaks down and can’t go anywhere. The same is true for you – you cannot go on an empty tank.Maybe in this fuller holiday season, you’re keeping your tank half full instead of full and that’s fine – because this is just a season.Like I said, create self-care routines that you can stick to right now. My favorite simple self-care practice that I’m showing up for during my current full season is Hustle Sanely 5 – I’m always a fan of Hustle Sanely 5 but I especially love it during busier seasons.If you don’t know what HS5 is, it’s 5 habits to do every day for a peacefully productive life:01. Complete your Focus 3.02. Move for 30 minutes.03. Tidy for 15 minutes.04. Say or do one kind thing for yourself.05. Say or do one kind thing for someone else.These habits are non-negotiable for me and thanks to them, my most important tasks get my best time and energy every day, I move my body every day which is good for my physical and mental health, I keep our home a peaceful and inviting environment, I’m taking care of my needs, and checking in regularly with my loved ones.Spend a few minutes brainstorming what makes you feel rejuvenated and like the healthiest version of yourself. Then sit down with your weekly routine outline (if you don’t have one, I show you how to make one at and plug those habits into your current weekly routine.Keep self-care simple during the holidays so that you actually show up for it.

04: Have a designated holiday brain dump area.
I don’t know about you, but during the holidays, my brain kind of looks like that scene from the first Harry Potter movie where all the keys are flying around like mad. If you know what I’m talking about, we can be besties.Actually, let’s be honest – my brain looks like this scene most of the year…mom life and entrepreneur life, lol.That being said, it’s so important to have a solid planning system in place and I’m so grateful that I do.I use the weekly Peacefully Productive Planner to plan my months and weeks, the Hustle Sanely daily planning notepad to plan my days, and then I use Notion to keep track of my life lists aka brain dumps.In Notion, I have a spot for all of my holiday brain dumps: gifts to buy, events I’m planning, Everly’s wish list, etc. Having all of this stuff in one place is so helpful. Instead of having random notes in my Notes app on my phone or sticky notes covering my desk, I know I can go to my Notion and see all of my holiday info in one place. You don’t have to use Notion but I highly recommend finding what works for you to keep all of your life lists organized – because if we leave all of that kind of stuff just floating around in our brains, that’s when we get overwhelmed and stressed out.

05: Get clear on your holiday vision and limit the number of events you’re available for.
I think the biggest part of having a peaceful holiday season is having a clear vision. Knowing how you want to spend your time and what’s important to you (not to your mom, your mother-in-law, your neighbor, etc.)Ask yourself this question: “What is meaningful to me this holiday season?” Not what you feel obligated to do but what actually feels like it’s important to you?What matters and what’s meaningful around the holidays is different for everyone. Maybe your family likes to go all out for Halloween and you prefer a low-key Thanksgiving. Maybe you like to go on a cabin trip for Thanksgiving and have a casual Christmas at home.Once you’ve gotten clear on your holiday vision – what matters to you this season – map out which weeks you want to do these things and then create a limit for the number of events you’re available for each week from October-December so that you don’t get overwhelmed or feel overextended.I like to put these events on my monthly calendar spreads in my planner. Then when we’re invited to any event during the holidays, I can open up my monthly planning page and see what we have going on – keeping my weekly event limit in mind, I can either accept or decline the invitation.

I know when I say yes to too many events, I end up feeling stressed out and exhausted (introverts, do you feel me?) – and then I’m not even fun at the events, lol so it doesn’t do anyone any good for me to say yes to too many things.
So again, decide what matters to you and your family during the holidays. You can’t say yes to everything and have a peaceful holiday season. If you need help narrowing it down, try choosing 3-5 traditions or events for each holiday.

Source: Jessica Massey

Pierogi & Keilbasa Bake - Credit: PioneerWoman - Find the Recipe Here!


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