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10 Tips to Lower Your Christmas Stress

Thanksgiving will be here in a few days, and before the leftover turkey is gone, we will be headed full force into the Christmas preparations.

So much to get accomplished, so many lists to make, so much shopping to do and then there is the decorating and the food. So much to handle. So little time. How will we ever get it all completed?

If you are like me, the closer it gets to Christmas the higher your stress level gets. And every year it somehow all comes together in the end. I really can’t think of one Christmas that didn’t go well.

And, I am pretty sure my traditional stressing and turning myself into a frazzled mess had nothing do with our Christmas being just about perfect.

The family was together enjoying each other’s company. The food was good, and there was plenty of it. Everyone was happy with their gifts. And the true meaning of Christmas was observed.

But, I am all for lowering the stress of the holiday preparation. So, I have come up with some tips that I will be keeping in mind this holiday season.

1. Taking care of yourself should be at the top of the list of things to do this holiday season. Get enough sleep. Get outside and breathe in the fresh air. Take the time for some exercise.

2. Don’t be afraid to say no! No matter how much we would like to do everything that everyone wants us to do, we can’t do it.

3. Plan ahead. Don’t leave everything for the last minute.

4. Use lists. Make a list for what gifts you need to buy. What food you need to get and so on. Keep it with you and keep it updated. Being organized can be a lifesaver.

5. Keep the gift giving simple. Can we get everyone the perfect gift? I don’t think so. Does anyone expect the perfect gift? I don’t think so. Gift cards, insulated mugs, warm mittens, scarfs. Keep the gifts simple and useful.

6. For those of us who bake, we need to ask ourselves do we need to make so many cookies, and pies? Do we over-do it? Maybe make a few fewer cookies this year.

7. I have noticed that fewer people are sending out Christmas cards. Maybe you can cross that chore off your list

8. Make use of some gift bags instead of wrapping everything

9. Limit your shopping trips. Be sure to grab enough tape, wrapping paper, tissue paper and the little odds and ends that can keep us running to the store.

10. Get the family involved. Delegate

I plan to simplify things this Christmas. I am not going to over think things. I am not aiming for perfect, and I am seeking a calm and enjoyable holiday.

“One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.” — Andy Rooney


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