Christmas – Stress Free Tips

The holidays are a time to spend with family and friends while enjoying food and drink, comforting surroundings.  So why are so many of us stressed, depressed and exhausted? It’s really hard to not get caught up in the trappings of the holidays and, before you know it, you feel stressed-out. Here are some suggestions to help you enjoy the season!

  1. Whatever holiday you celebrate, maintain a realistic notion about what that holiday should be; don’t get so caught up in the planning that you forget to enjoy the season. Remember, less than perfect is perfectly okay.
  2. Shop early for presents, party supplies, and decorations. Buy multiples of gift tags, tape and wrappings; you can always use the leftovers next year. Keep a stash of “one-size-fits-all” gifts like wine and candy on hand in case you need a last-minute present.
  3. Avoid crowds by shopping local and supporting your local businesses. If you must go to the mall go at off times (dinner hour, weekdays) and leave the kids at home. Or shop from mail-order catalogs and the Internet or give gift certificates.
  4. Choose only two wrapping paper designs, one for adults and one for kids. Or just use gift bags or decorative boxes.
  5. Take advantage if a store offers free gift-wrapping or seek out charity gift-wrapping services; you’ll be contributing to a worthy cause.
  6. Make a budget and stick to it! Catalog/online shopping can help; you won’t be seduced at the local mall by a million choices staring you in the face.
  7. If you really want to guarantee you will stay within your budget, use CASH!
  8. Skip holiday cards to anyone you haven’t seen or heard from in over a year, or just send New Year’s cards in January. You can spend more time on personal messages and recipients will have more time to read them.
  9. Know when to politely say no to invitations. Decide which gatherings you must attend and which can be skipped without guilt. Only say yes to meaningful events.
  10. Decorate only as much as your time and energy allows then be happy with the results!  Only decorate rooms you use most often.
  11. Keep a special notebook of holiday recipes you would like to make year after year. This will save a lot of time searching through cookbooks.
  12. Do not forget about you!! Set aside special “you time”. Unwind with a friend, get a manicure, go to a matinee, or spend an afternoon alone.
  13. Finally, give to the less fortunate as part of your holiday tradition. Volunteer for a homeless shelter, visit a retirement center or participate in a food, toy or clothing drive.  Encourage kids to give away toys they no longer use.


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