For many folks, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. But for those of us living in reality, sometimes the holidays suck.

Whether it’s long hours of work and customer communication or wrangling staff scheduling requests, it can be hard to find those joyful moments in all the chaos.

To help you turn that Scrooge-y frown upside down, we’ve compiled a few tips to help the holidays suck a little less this year.

Some are practical tips for your business day, and others are mindful ways to stay in the moment — and truly enjoy it.

Strive for Great, but Not Perfection

Around the holidays, there’s too much to do — ordering supplies, sending marketing emails, posting on social media, baking all the cookies. Tell yourself — you can achieve greatness without doing the absolute most.

First of all, buy the pie at the grocery store this year. No one cares. Second, set realistic goals to meet realistic expectations.

While it’s true that 65% of consumers feel more connected to brands that show up regularly on social media, it doesn’t mean you have to over-share.

During the holiday rush, maybe you scale your posting schedule back to every other day, instead of daily — or once a week instead of three times a week.

Either way, utilize a centralized social media dashboard to schedule posts in advance, so you can get it done and move on to the next thing.

Utilize All of Your Channels

But wait! Before we leave social media, keep in mind that you may want to switch it up a bit. If you live on Instagram, don’t ignore your Facebook followers.

In fact, 80% of consumers said they’ve used at least one Facebook app or service for discovery during the 2020 holiday season.

Some social channels are even making purchases easier than ever. To wit: Social commerce pulled in $474 billion in 2020. Now, that doesn’t suck!

Make More Meaningful Connections

Many of your customers are looking for the reason for the season, so if you’re short on time, you can give them fewer — but more meaningful — touchpoints. When you’re using a channel like email, use your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software to help you craft more personalized messages.

You can do things such as adding their first name in the subject line or at the beginning of the email text. You can use tags to reference their last purchase and provide suggestions for what’s next. Or you can simply automate a “haven’t seen you for a while” message, based on their last visit or service with you.

This is a powerful tactic — 70% of consumers say they will shop exclusively with businesses that show that they personally understand them. And nearly half say they’re more likely to do business with those that send personalized offers or content, such as emails.

As with last year, consumers are eager to support small businesses, especially during Small Business Saturday. Be sure you have a way to capture their email addresses during this busy time, so you can remarket inexpensively to them in the future.

Start Looking Ahead to 2022

If you’re like me, there’s nothing that inspires relaxation more than putting together a plan for the future. No, I’m serious. Plotting activities and goals on a calendar can help ease that overwhelming feeling that everything needs to be done right now.

Setting objectives and drawing out plans helps in many ways:

  • You prevent more arguments when the plan is drawn out in advance for all to see.
  • Seeing the bigger picture keeps the daily grind in perspective.
  • If you create a list, you get to cross things off that list. Is there anything more satisfying than that?
  • Thoughtful planning helps you fully realize your vision.

And seeing that vision can revitalize and energize your current efforts — like trying to survive the holidays.

Want more? Check out these holiday survival tips for small businesses, with Thryv’s very own Kevin White:

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