How to (Actually) Enjoy the Holidays

Julie Jurden

I have a confession to make.

I adore this time of year. The holidays are beautiful and exciting. It’s so much fun to focus on giving that one gift you know will bring a smile to someone face, treating friends to a special event and cooking for your family from out of town. And of course we are pretty busy packing,wrapping and shipping in our warehouse singing at the top of our lungs to Christmas carols!

But I have to admit that I do get a little bit frazzled this late into the holiday season.

The baking, the gift-buying, the endless parties are all fun, but they are also so time consuming. No one wants to admit that all of that fun requires a lot work. And no one ever wants to mention the extra house cleaning you have to do to make your home presentable. The extra washing up after the dinner party. The tediousness of waiting in line to return gifts that aren’t quite right.

When did something that was used to be so much fun turn into so much stress?

And what can you do about it?


Admit that you can’t do everything. An essential part of managing holiday stress is recognizing that you physically cannot do everything. You cannot whip up sugar cookies for the bake sale while talking your daughter through Christmas shopping for her new boyfriend while seeing your neighbor’s son make his theatrical debut in “A Christmas Carol”. While you might really want to accept every invitation, you have to be realistic about what you can actually accomplish.

Make healthy lifestyle choices a priority. It’s impossible to enjoy the holiday season when you’re exhausted. That’s why it’s important to make time to take really good care of yourself. Get plenty of sleep, eat well and make relaxation a priority. And (this is so agonizing but so true) this is not the time for you to blow off your Pilates class. Exercise clears your mind and helps reduce stress. Also, the more you work out, the more cookies you can eat. Just saying.

Learn to say no. Many of us have a hard time saying no when friends and family members ask us for our time during the holidays. But saying yes when you really should say no could leave you stuck seething and resentful in the corner at a party. Stressed and annoyed is not a good look on anyone, by the way, no matter how pretty your party dress happens to be.

Prioritize pleasure. One of the most beautiful moments of my holiday season last year involved bundling up and taking 10 minutes with a hot cup of Hazelnut coffee on my back patio after a big snowfall and throwing an orange tennis ball for my chocolate lab Scout.  But you could get a massage, pour yourself a glass of really nice Pinot Noir, or linger in a bubble bath. Taking time to give to yourself means that you’ll have more to give to the people around you.

For all you do, a treat for you. Here at Modigliani, we know that holiday joy doesn’t just magically appear. It takes serious effort! That’s why we want to give back to help you enjoy yourself just a little bit more this holiday season. When you spend over $100, you get an ornament, over $250 a Natale mug and over $500 a Natale cake plate. It’s our way of saying thanks for everything you do this holiday season!