Let the Holidays Come…to YOU

My friend Jess wrote this awesome post about how to let the run come to you (us). It struck a cord with me. Yes, I apply this to my running (no numbers runner, remember?) but I also think it can apply to the way we live life or more so, the Holidays. Let the Holidays come to you (us).

When I looked up the synonym for LET in the thesaurus, it actually had the definition “sit still for” in there. Interesting, yes? Notice I didn’t say “make the Holidays come to us.” Huge difference right? Let versus make.

It’s Holiday season, yes, and we tend to get way too ahead of ourselves. I mean Christmas planning before Thanksgiving and New Years resolutions before we even hit half way through December.


Why not let the Holidays come to us. Why not let the moments come to us? Can’t we just focus on the day instead of pre pre pre planning our holiday menu?

I know, easier said than done. Most of us feed off that control. To take charge. To get everything “just right.”

But you know what? Some of my best Holiday memories are the ones that just came, without any control! Someone forgot the pie, we burnt the turkey, got stuck at the airport, decided to go out to eat instead. We made the holiday what is was with what we had and who we were with.


I’m not saying don’t plan anything. I’m saying don’t set high standards. I’m saying be adaptable. I’m saying focus on the purpose rather than the planning. I’m saying be unconvential if it’s more affordable. I’m saying let’s let the Holidays roll out one day at time, one pie at time, one hug at time. Ya know?

Here are a few stress free ideas/tips  that might help when it comes to Holidays planning or unplanning. haha. Winking smile

  • Don’t be afraid to nix a side dish and put out a salad. Easy to throw together and you can always add in seasonal vegetables like squash, brussel sprouts, etc.


  • Offer tea, coffee, biscotti/cookies and/or a dessert wine. Then have someone else bring a pie. More choices. Offers a little down time after the meal. It’s cozy.

arrowroot cookies 2coffee

  • Use your fruit. It’s cheap. Peel and slice pears, apples, plums, and peaches. Coat with a little butter, cinnamon, and sugar. Toss it all in a pyrex pan and bake at 450F for 25-30 minutes. Serve with a little cream and honey on top.


  • No time to cook a turkey. That’s fine! Grab two roasted chickens and slice up. Or roast a turkey loin and slice it on a platter. I’m sure the pilgrims won’t mind.
  • Make the day about the people and the purpose first, then the food. Anything tastes good when you’re with good company!
  • Play! Get outside and enjoy the day. Enjoy the festivities. Don’t feel the need to be in the kitchen 24/7 watching the pot boil. Last year (in New Zealand) we played tennis all day before realizing we needed to get Christmas dinner started. Haha.


  • Be accommodating. Have someone with a food allergy or a specific diet coming? Easy, make a stew or buy some vegetarian tamales. Trust me, tamales and spicy cranberry chutney are a good combo! haha.


I have to admit. It’s easy to sucked into the Holiday go go go. I mean SUPER EASY! But the moment you feel your “moments” slipping away is when you need to stop. Stop and let the day unfold as is. Like Jess said, let the run (or in this case, the HOLIDAYS) come to you. And once it finds you, take it all in, one breath of FRESH AIR at a time.

So what do you think? Are you in? Slow and Stress free Holidays please!


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  1. I totally agree – in everything, I just need to take things one day at a time, especially when it comes to healthy habits AND enjoying Thanksgiving even though I have a marathon I’m worried about the marathon on Sunday!

  2. Great advice friend!

  3. Great message! Slow down—it all goes by so quickly anyway. It’s over before you know it….it’s not worth stressing. Be present–enjoy! :)

  4. My post this morning is a similar topic or thought. I talk about how much I love Thanksgiving because it is so simple and focuses on just being with loved ones and reflecting on blessings instead of go go go go go go go. It is so easy to get lost in the season rather than truly celebrating how God intends us to – RELATIONALLY. Thanks for a beautiful post and reminder this morning. I wish you the best of holidays tomorrow!

    • oh i agree. I loved your post this morning too. Same wavelength for sure. Gods intention for us is to praise and give thanks! Happy thanksgiving to you and your sweet family. Hugs friend!

  5. No stress! Just wonderful family time, the best part!

    Happy Thanksgiving to you guys! <3

  6. Yes, no stress over a holiday that is supposed to be about giving thanks!

    Side note, last night i was thinking about your healthy bites venture… for those of us who dont have facebook (i know, i know) would you consider creating a website for healthy bites? That way i can pass along to my friends who dont have facebook or cant access facebook at work…and i wouldnt have to pester you by emailing everytime i have an order. Just a thought :)

    • i’m working on that. Just takes time and money. I need both, LOL! They can always check out the healthy bites tabs above on this site and email or comment there to order. THats kinda what i am doing now.
      get on facebook so i can talk more to YOU!

  7. I gotta know…what kind of cake it that?;)

  8. You know what’s funny, the holidays aren’t about the food, but about the family and taking a moment to reflect on being thankful. The food is just the bonus. I never stress over what we’re having or when it will be done. We will definitely not go hungry, that’s for sure and for that, I’m incredibly thankful! I am definitely taking the time to relax (Tony is on crazy deadline right now, so I’m trying to keep him stress free too) and just enjoy where I am at the moment. Nothing more, nothing less. I hope you have an incredible day with family Lindsay and enjoy your stress free holiday! xoxo

  9. This is so great and I love how you simplified this special holiday for all the goodness it has to offer…if you just LET IT (no planning…a little planning required).

    We celebrated Thanksgiving a few weeks ago in Canada. We celebrated the moments together as a Family. There was some planning, but there was also a lot of unplanning whereby, we let the special moments happen :)

    Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  10. Love this! So simple but so often forgotten! Thanks for reminding us.

  11. I’m ALL about stress free holidays. We’re taking Christmas Eve for the family from my Grandma (whether she likes it or not) this year and I know there will be plenty of “oh my GOSH!” kind of stress from my mom. I’m going to do everything in my power to keep relaxed and bring a sense of “it’s okay” to the holiday. :)

  12. I needed this post today. My in-laws are coming in from Alaska and we are having Thanksgiving over here – first time I’m ever hosting a holiday (b/c we just bought our first house in May!!). I’ve been stressing about all the little details while also trying to clean and do all that goes along with having your in-laws living with you for a week!!
    Beautiful post…beautiful words…beautiful message. Thank you for the reminder. xoxo
    Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, friend!

  13. YESSS I hate that we are so busy planning for the next holiday that we skip enjoying the current one!! I feel like you are in my brain lately

    Love the salad idea too, great tips

  14. Happy Thanksgiving, my friend. Pass along the wishes to James (and your fam too). Stress free is the way to go; my family is all about that for Thanksgiving and Christmas now.

  15. Happy Thanksgiving!! I hope you and the WHOLE family have an amazing holiday weekend:)

  16. I would love a slow and stress free holiday. I think tomorrow will finally be as close as it gets for us. It can be hard having a divorced family and trying to cram in 3 different houses into a single day. Tomorrow should be different though (fingers crossed). Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day.

  17. Yes! Let us not become so preoccupied on what our holiday “should be like” than we miss the beauty of spontaneous and real moments. This one is huge for me because I tend to be a big time planner, but lately God has given me so many unplanned enjoyable moments that I have learned to let go of all that “control” that I really don’t have anyway. Happy Thanksgiving my dear!

  18. I love this Lindsay!! So so true, little tweaks can mean all the difference between a stressFUL and stressFREE holiday. It’s about those unspoken moments, the ones we allow for and LET IN, instead of the hustle and bustle. I will keep this in mind tomorrow for sure, thank you!! Have a wonderful FREE holiday!! XO

  19. I don’t know… if someone forgot the pie I might freak out a little. 😉

    Seriously, there are some great tips. And I’m still swooning over that coffee. Happy Thanksgiving!!!

  20. Couldn’t agree more- My most memorable holidays are the ones that didn’t go as planned. Happy Turkey Day, friend!

  21. Life is what happens when we’re busy making other plans. I try not to stress too much over the holidays, especially because, like you said, the best memories are the ones that don’t go according to plan.

  22. Wonderful advice! I hate getting to ahead of myself..you feel like you have to think 3 steps ahead of yourself but I would love to just spend the holidays with whatever comes my way. sounds like a plan :) and GO! xoxo have a wonderful thanksgiving darling!

  23. This year’s holidays are going to be very stress-free for us. We’re staying in Dallas and all our family is in the Midwest. Tomorrow, we’re just going over to our friends’ place where we’re making chili, watching football, and drinking wine. :) haha non-traditional meal, but so much easier!

  24. pavlova i spy?! totally agree. i have found myself ‘holding back’ so hard in busting out the xmas tunes! thanksgiving is a day that needs to have the celebration too :) holiday meals are so easy for me, i always prepare simple but rustic dishes and you know what…a 12-13lb bird takes just under 2 hrs to cook! so you don’t have to slave away the day!

  25. I love this post…I was just talking with a friend this morning about letting the stress and worry of the holidays go and just really being present with my family and friends–laughing, talking, and just enjoying ourselves! Life’s too short to worry about the plans, making up the perfectly healthy dinner plate (so sick of reading/hearing about that all over!), or making the decorations look perfect…thanks for the great reminder and some fun tips–I love that idea about the fruit!

  26. I’m totally in! Some pre-chopped fixings and a TJ’s pumpkin pie are making appearances this year… I’d rather spend 30 more minutes with my family than standing over an appliance! To each his own, but for me semi-homemade is my favorite :) I hope y’all have a wonderfully blessed and tasty holiday!

  27. I love these tips! Seriously, if I was to run a Thanksgiving or holiday meal, this is how I would do it.

  28. I was born in. LOL.
    I am a letter when it comes to prepping the meal (haven’t been deflowered) but man oh man what a thought provoking thing because in MANY ways I have to let the holidays just come instead of worrying so much about other things.

    • bahaha, you are so in, always have always will be.

      I knew you were wise like that. I admire you.

      I loved your post yesterday. Meant to tell you. I love hearing you heart.

  29. I love meal planning for holidays! hehe

    But this year we weren’t sure about what we were doing until Monday. I thought we were going to eat out since it was just the 2 of us. But Jay’s friend wanted to come for Thanksgiving so we are cooking :)

  30. I love this! Such a strong message. And I love the idea of allowing the holiday to come to us. Sit still and let the holidays come, instead of getting ahead of ourselves, planning months in advance. It seems that we are so busy planning for things, we miss out on opportunities. I don’t want that to happen this year!

  31. Nice Pav!!!

  32. This reminds me of the year I announced we were having tamales {that I bought from a friend who makes them fresh} for Christmas dinner. It took me less that 20 minutes to heat them up and throw together a salad. I actually got to ENJOY time with family rather than stuck in the kitchen.

  33. I love this! I’m trying to be stress free and just let the holidays come to me. We are doing everything different this year, so it is hard to let go of traditions for us. However, it is going to make things much less stressful!

  34. LOVE THIS! can i tell you i am taking it easy. in fact i bought a semi cooked meal from whole foods so i would not stress of fret about the food. it looks like you are letting goodness come to you-love that my friend :)

  35. I’ve been trying to tell my mom this all morning! Oh my gosh this post is so perfect right now.
    Travel plans and work schedules are being a pain for xmas and now she doesn’t even want me to come home. She is working xmas day and I have to work xmas and possible xmas day so I thought the best option would be to fly in for dinner on xmas and then spend the next 2 days we both have off together – but now she doesn’t want to decorate or for me to come at all, hates the holidays, doesn’t want to bother, making it sound like I don’t want to be there. I kept telling her its about the time spent together not the day on the calendar. I am bummed about it to – i dont want to be alone in new york but I thought that was a good option. gaaahhh! crazy
    And I have to say the tamales with the cranberry relish sounds awesome. I plan on doing that with leftovers and some TJ’s tamales :)

  36. I enjoy the holidays and don’t think that I’m typically stressed by them. I enjoy the cooking and while I might think about it, I’m not going to break a sweat if something goes awry. You can always have some steamed veggies as back up!

  37. What is sticking out of the sides of that cake?

    • bahahaha, it’s like the new zealand version of twix, but no caramel. Honeycomb with chocolate on it. James’ younger cousin decorated it, can you tell?

  38. One word: AMEN!

  39. Slow and stress free holiday pretty please! So far it is going that way. Early client, yoga, and about to take Kala for a walk. Then heading to friends for dinner. Looking forward to relaxing the rest of the day and working on not stuffing myself like a turkey, but savoring the food and the moments. XOXO

  40. I know you know this already but I love you friend. Do you know how many times I thought about this very blog post while prepping for Thanksgiving yesterday and this AM?? I swear it was your words that kept me calm today especially. You are so good for my soul!! Love YOU!

  41. This was exactly what my family and I have been talking about! We have had a special Thanksgiving tradition for the past 34 years, but this year it changed due to an illness in the family. We were all separated, all very sad and unsure of what to do. But then we decided to just roll with it. It was different, and strange but still wonderful! I’ll keep this post in mind through the rest of the year for sure :)

  42. We ordered a re-heat meal from Whole Foods. So easy! That way, we could enjoy our day out of the kitchen (mostly)!


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