The holidays should be the time we are enjoying family and friends but
often it is the most stressful time there is for many.
Shopping, cooking, planning - it all can take its toll. But there are some things that can be done to make the holidays a bit more stress-free. Here are some simple ideas can make your holidays more relaxing.
Start Planning Early
Early planning can make a real difference; especially if you have a large number of people you are either shopping for or having over for dinner. Starting a few months ahead of time is wise. That way you can take advantage of Black Friday sales when buying gifts. The earlier you get your shopping done the more time you have for fun.
Lists make life so much easier. For the holidays make the following lists and check off each item as it is completed.
• Gift Shopping List
• Christmas Card List
• Black Friday Deal List
• Food Purchase List
• Christmas Dinner Dish List (including who is bringing what)
You may need lists that pertain only to your family as well. Get a small notebook and carry it with you. That way if you are out and find a bargain you can cross that item off your list immediately.
Plan Christmas dinner early too. Keep it simple. Use tried and true recipes and delegate the cooking so everyone shares and brings a dish. Make sure you write down who is bringing which dish. The last thing you need is ten green bean casseroles. Create a timeline of cooking, working backward from when you want to eat. Consider using store-made items like pies to lighten your load.
There are two ways of doing the decorating. Start small doing a room or area each day for a few days or throw a decorating party and get it all done at once. Keep in mind why you decorate. It's to enjoy the season not to stress yourself. If you aren't able to put out all 100 of Uncle Ed's trains, then don't.
Plan Your Shopping
Don't go shopping when you are rushed, such as during your work lunch break. Go when you have the time to do what you need to do. Shop online and have it delivered right to your door. Consider smaller, handcrafted or homemade gifts. Keep the gift giving simple.
Enjoy Your Family
Plan for family fun. Schedule the things you want to do and mark them on the calendar. Whether it's a night out Christmas Caroling or an evening in watching holiday movies and baking cookies, put it on the schedule. Let the children see what is coming up and that you are planning on spending time with them. Have family and friends over for cookies and coffee. This is what the holidays are all about. All the gift giving, busyness and running around means nothing if you have no time to relax and enjoy the season.
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