Favorite Quick Tips for Holiday Happiness


Thank you to my amazing clients who share so many strategies with me! My clients who have ADHD are creative and resourceful, finding ways to make the holidays fun with ADHD-friendly ways to get tasks done. Here is a list of favorite quick tips to embrace the holiday spirit!


Strategies for holiday planning

  • Family calendars and a dry-erase board make it easy to see what we have planned. We ask our family what they love to do and the favorite is always driving to see Christmas lights. We do that as much as we can. All our other activities are on the calendar.
  • Use your devices like your phone and iPad to keep up with details. Create an album in your photos to screenshot activities and tickets.
  • Plan as much time without activities as with activities. Your family-together time can be time at home with puzzles or board games.
  • Make a list of everything you plan to do: cooking, shopping, hosting, attending – everything. Then go back through the list and cross off 30% of it, planning for only the things that will be most meaningful and helping you to go in with more realistic expectations of how much you can accomplish.
  • Assign tasks to specific people by giving them a list. No doubt does who does what and your kiddos will know what to do to help.

Strategies for holiday treats

  • Homemade gifts are something I love to do and give. I prepare one easy treat, usually a recipe that has three steps and three ingredients. I keep supplies on hand to be able to make treats as needed throughout the season.
  • Bake multiple holiday treats like bread and cakes well ahead of time. Label and freeze to share later in the holidays.
  • Prep before you begin! It makes all the difference, especially for us Adhd peeps who get distracted. If we know we have 25 gifts to do with all the supplies and whatnot, our brains can work more efficiently to get it done.

Strategies for gift-giving

  • Santa’s workshop is filled with socks! The joy of fluffy socks for everyone, including teens, can be immeasurable. I keep a stock of socks of all sorts, gift bags and tissue ready to assemble as gifts. As surprises happen, I am prepared.
  • It is easy to go down a million rabbit holes searching for holiday gifts. Order from the same vendors as much as possible and keep the receipts in a digital folder for returns.
  • Buy a stack of generic gift cards like Amazon, Target, or Starbucks, for gifts and to keep on hand in case you forgot a gift.
  • Decide once on teacher gifts. An Amazon gift card in an envelope (labeled with the recipient’s name) attached to a movie-size box of candy makes a fabulous teacher gift!

Strategies for decorating

  • Start and finish early. We decorate the first weekend of November every year and take down our holidays right before New Year’s Eve.
  • We make an appointment with our holiday decorator early in the season to put up the treat and decorate the mantle. It saves us time and we enjoy the festive decorations longer.
  • Know when to end your decorating and start the next things on your list.

Strategies for self-care

  • Stay the course on everyday routines. Try to keep your routines of sleep especially as close as possible given all the extra stuff you are doing.
  • Ask for help. Easier said than done but every little way someone or some delivery can help make it easier.
  • Know your limits before you reach them. When you are feeling overwhelmed or over-tired, state your feelings and take a break.
  • Remember the power of music and smell. Holiday favorites bring joy to the day.


Create your own list of quick tips to keep in your holiday notebook for this year and the coming years.

2 replies
  1. Seana Turner
    Seana Turner says:

    I love seeing all these ideas from your peeps!

    Socks on hand as gifts is a great idea. Truly, everyone loves getting socks. It’s so funny, right?

    Lists are a must. I can’t live without them. When having the family meeting, sort of like a work meeting, putting a “who” and “by when” next to every task is a great way to eliminate confusion and excuses later.

    I’d like to add myself to the recipient list of whoever is baking the bread LOL!

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