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Harnessing Holiday Cheer

Survival Guide For a Stress-Free Holiday Season

Do you dread the hustle and bustle of another holiday season? Between shopping, wrapping, baking, holiday cards, parties, etc., surviving the season can be a challenge! This year, why not eliminate stress by following these tips?

Early planning

First, close your eyes and reflect on how hectic this season can be. How many activities can you eliminate to make the season more enjoyable and stress-free? 

Next, make a list of everything you need to do during the holidays and how much money you'll spend. Now eliminate the least important items and review the list again. If you haven't eliminated enough, go through your list again. Once you've decided which parties you'll attend, plan how you'll say ‘no' to the others, so you're not caught off guard.

Share in the preparation

Enlist your family to help prepare for the holidays and don't expect perfection. After all, you probably don't notice or mind the imperfections in others' holiday gatherings. Also, remember the holiday season is not the time to be head cook! Plan potluck gatherings and be sure to ask guests what they'll bring to avoid duplicate dishes.

Holiday time-and-energy savers

Save time gift-wrapping by setting up a station in a spare room. Stock a large box with wrapping paper and accessories, so everything is stored in one place. Do your holiday shopping early in the day on weekdays while your energy is high and crowds are small. Shop online whenever possible. Give gift cards. People appreciate practical gifts. 

Holidays with children

Allow kids to spend the entire gift-opening day at home, and plan family get-togethers either on Christmas Eve or on the weekends before or after the holiday. Also, avoid taking children shopping during the holidays. It will be less stressful and will likely cut your shopping time in half.

Care for yourself

Enjoy holiday treats in moderation. Have plenty of convenient, healthy snacks on hand. Prepare low-fat meals that won’t bog you down.

Things to do for next year

Start your shopping early. Can't stress this enough! Also, get a label printer early in the year and enter all of the addresses on your holiday card list. When the holidays roll around, you can print the labels and eliminate the most time-consuming aspect of sending out holiday greetings.

Finally, remember the holiday season should be a joyful time for everyone, including yourself. Maximize ways to ease your stress to keep the ‘happy’ in your holidays!