The holidays are right around the corner, which means many of us are starting to prepare for holiday guests and working out meal game plans. The holidays are about creating memories and spending time with loved ones, but let’s be real—they’re also a lot of work, and often come with an unwanted extra helping of stress. While it’s easy to get swept away by the perfect holiday splendor you see on your friends’ social media feeds, this year we’re all about embracing what’s real about the holidays. That means real messes in the kitchen. Real stress and the tips needed to reduce it. Real time out for self-care. Not to mention some real helpful hacks for how to clean and entertain so that you can maximize holiday fun—and minimize stress.
To help you step toward the holidays with confidence, we turned to our community of Seventh Generation employees to hear first-hand how they tackle the holiday season while embracing the craziness of it all.
Hi, I’m Sam Stanyon
Working from a home office full-time can often mean everyday home tasks sneak into your work breaks throughout the day – especially during the hectic holiday season where weekends are filled with plans & entertaining. When our Associate Manager of Digital Content isn’t combing through our social media channels, she can often be found trying to quickly check things off of her list throughout the day. “I always try to make time throughout the day to get up and spend some time away from the computer – even if those breaks are spent tackling a pile of dishes or folding clothes.”
“Our new EasyDoseTM laundry detergent is the best. I can be wrangling my dog or taking a call with one arm and can get my laundry ready to go with the other. We do a surprising amount of laundry for a family of 2 – especially during the holiday season when we’re hosting lots of family and friends – so I’m all for making easy tasks even easier.”
Sam’s advice for dealing with holiday madness? “Embrace it. The holidays come and go in the blink of an eye – so embrace the pile of post-party dishes and focus on the memories you’re making with your people.”
Hi, I’m Alison Whritenour
As the mother of three young kids, our CCD Director, US Natural Home Care, Alison Whritenour, knows managing time is essential to surviving every busy week—not to mention the even busier holidays. Her trick? Planning and making meals ahead of time. “Making meals ahead has really helped me to make sure we can have a healthy meal even on our busiest days.”
As she gears up for the holidays, her family’s health is Alison’s top priority. That’s why she’s “pretty much obsessed with our [Seventh Generation] disinfecting products. “I feel like someone is always sick in my house, especially during the holidays, so I try to help in little ways like disinfecting hard, non-porous toys and doorknobs once a week to eliminate 99.9% of household germs. It only takes a few minutes!”
Alison also has some great advice about how to manage holiday obligations. “Don’t be afraid to say no! Making choices to slow down your life always really helps me.”
Hi, I’m Tomlynn Biondo
Home Care Senior Designer, Tomlynn Biondo, has an ingenious tip for how to cut down on laundry during the busy holidays, when extra house guests and cooler temperatures can find laundry piling up fast. “In my kids’ rooms, I keep a few hooks on the wall for clothing that’s lightly worn and doesn’t need to be washed—like pajamas. My laundry loads definitely went down after this!”
When it comes to holiday cleaning, we all have our pet peeves. Tomlynn’s is the time it takes to vacuum her wood stairs. “It takes so long, and they end up dusty a few days later.” Her solution? Let the kids help. “I give my kids a dustpan and broom and let them go to work on the wood staircase. They love sweeping and helping with the cleaning! It also saves me so much time. I also chip in by wiping dust off the bannister with a multi-purpose wipe. Fun for the whole family!”
To keep perspective and minimize holiday excess, Tomlynn says she tries to teach her kids that “less is more.” To cut down on unneeded gifts coming into the house, she’s opened a bank account for each of her kids, and spread the word to family members, who can choose to make a contribution instead of buying traditional presents. The kids “love seeing the money accumulate, and I let them take it out when they want to buy something extra special.”
Hi, I’m Andrew Parise
The holidays find us all spending more time in the kitchen cooking—and doing more dishes. To keep the holiday dishes from taking over in your kitchen, our Assistant Brand Manager, Integrated Communications, Andrew Parise, suggests trying to clean as you go. It’s certainly helped in his house. “Whether I’m at the stove or my wife is,” Andrew says, “the other one of us is always at the sink doing dishes, finding and clearing appetizer plates or empty bottles and cans. Trying to clean everything at the end of the day can be overwhelming.”
For Andrew and his wife, keeping surfaces disinfected for their young son, Leo—especially during the holidays when there’s extra company around—is paramount. Using Seventh Generation’s super-convenient, no-rinse disinfectant spray, they spray down “every hard surface that people come into contact with, especially when Leo’s cousins are in town. There is no stronger bond in this world than toddlers and their germs, so it takes a lot of attention.” Having a no-rinse disinfectant spray is a no-brainer when you have a little one in the house who is prone to touching and exploring everything!
Hi, I’m Bettina Guevara
When it comes to avoiding holiday burn-out, our Customer Relations Advocate, Bettina Guevara, says the key is to manage your commitments. “Sometimes it feels like there’s a party or social gathering every other day or week,” she says. “Be picky with which events you attend, and you won’t feel exhausted from social overload.”
To save time during busy holiday clean-up, which is always a bit heavier than normal, Bettina swears by our Ultra Power Plus dishwasher packs. “I don’t have to worry about pre-rinsing dishes. They definitely help reduce clean-up time.”
Finally, when it comes to some needed holiday self-care, Bettina keeps it simple. “Regardless of how busy the day may be,” she says, “I always make sure to take some time to spend alone with my dog Pearl, whether it’s going for a short walk or just snuggling together with a blanket.
From our family to yours, we hope some of these tips can help turn up the joy and make this year’s holidays unforgettable.