How to Stress Less & Enjoy the Holidays More

As the countdown to the holidays grows shorter and shorter, the burdens of your to-do list grow larger and larger. There are cookies to bake, gifts to buy, cards to mail, home décor and house cleaning to complete.

Sound familiar?

Sound like too much?

Like every good coach will tell you, you’ve got to have a game plan. The holiday season is no different. Just look upon Christmas day as “game day”– no television required.

The key to de-stressing your holidays is not allowing your holidays to become more of a burden then a joy.

If you’re planning a large family gathering, ask everyone to help out. Each member of the family can bring a covered dish for dinner, leaving you only to prepare the main dish.

Ask family members living nearby to come over a few days early to help clean and decorate the house, and exchange the same for them.

When you know family members are going out shopping, ask them to pick up items for you.

Send your husband and kids out for supper and a movie, while you and your friends have a gift wrapping party. Also, many small shops now offer gift wrapping services, as do local church organizations and children’s clubs like Girl Scouts.

Feel overwhelmed when it comes to baking? Join a cookie exchange where you only have to make one kind of cookie. This way, on Christmas day you’ll have a variety without all the work of changing recipes. Don’t bake? It’s okay to skip the oven sweat and pick up a variety cookie tray at your local bakery.

Do gift exchanges freak you out? You just never know what to buy the family member whose name you got stuck with? Why not suggest a Yankee Swap this year? Old gifts that you got and never used, or new ones you picked up on the fly… your family will have plenty of fun discovering what’s inside while they swap and laugh till the end.

Skip the handwritten addresses this year for your Christmas card list and create one through your word processing software. Print them out on standard mailing labels and save half the time of processing your Christmas cards. Each year, you can pull up the file and update the addresses in just a few minutes.

Is it your wallet pressing the most weight on you this holiday season? Sometimes the most cherished gifts are those that cost very little to nothing to give. Written sentiments, a handmade item, a promise of service (like shoveling the snow from the driveway, or walking the dog), or traveling to see someone can rank as the best gifts of all.

Before you let the holidays stress you, create a plan to lighten the burdens and bask in the joy of the season.

About the Author:  

MRsCHADT is the author of the 2011 Daily Mood Organizer, Mood Journal, and MRsCHADT’s Holiday Planner. She has written over a hundred articles on crafting, self-help, and home organization for both online and print venues. You can find out more about MRsCHADT at http://www.mrschadt.com/.

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