Tips for De-STRESSing the Holidays
'Tis the season to be jolly, but how jolly are we as we scurry about trying to find the perfect gifts for everyone and rush off to another holiday party where we overstuff ourselves? Are you stressed out by Christmas? Do you wish you could slow everything down? Here are some helpful strategies to help you survive the pressures of the holiday season. More...
Shop during the year. If you procrastinate and wait until December, try
to get your shopping done early in the month and early in the day, if
Avail yourself of free gift boxes and free or low-cost gift wrapping
services. Wrapping presents takes time.
Shop by mail or computer to save time. You may want the company to ship
some gifts directly to the recipient.
Choosing a theme can simplify your gift giving (buying everyone on your
list a book or a sweater for instance).
Whether you have a large or a small extended family, consider
exchanging names so you don't have to buy as many gifts. You may want to buy
one gift a whole family can use rather than a gift for each person.
Consider exchanging cards at your office rather than gifts.
You can save money on Christmas cards by making your own. If you have
children, have them decorate cards. A simpler idea is to cut last years
Christmas cards and send as postcards which cost less to mail than a card. You
can also use decorative scissors to recycle old Christmas cards as gift tags.
Start addressing your cards early Thanksgiving weekend is a great time
to start. If you do five a night, starting on November 28, you will have 90
ready to mail on December 15. If you have addresses in your computer, you can
save time by printing out address labels.
Instead of Christmas cards, consider sending a newsletter. This past
year, we sent out a Thanksgiving newsletter, listing all the blessings of the
past year and wishing our friends a wonderful Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New
Years. In previous years, we sent out letters after Christmas because of time
pressures and waiting for Christmas pictures to include with our mailings. If
you are pressed for time, send your cards in time for the New Year.
Consider sending electronic greeting cards or newsletters to those with
email addresses. Youll save considerable money on cards, stationery and
postage. By using email, we keep in better contact and send out more holiday
letters than we would if we were using snail mail.
Are you responsible for a dinner party? You may want to consider a
potluck instead, or have each person bring a certain course rather than doing
the whole dinner yourself. If you have company, you don't have to cook the most
elaborate feast every night.
Serve dips in festive green and red peppers. Cut off the tops. Remove the
seeds, and fill with your favorite dips.
You can make bite-size fudge easily. Spray an ice cube tray with non-stick
cooking spray. Pour in your fudge. The candy will harden quickly with no cutting
Prioritize your life. You don't have to accept every invitation you
receive. Cut back on outside commitments. Instead, take some time from the
busyness of the season to spend with family and friends, and remember the real
reason for the season.
Budget a certain amount for gifts. Make a list of people you need to buy
gifts for and allot so much per person. If you are short on cash, make homemade
gifts or be creative. A gift does not have to be new.
Simplify your life. You don't have to decorate each room of the house. If
you have children, let them help you decorate.
Be more relaxed about housekeeping. Take some extra time off work if
Take care of yourself. Eat well, exercise, and enjoy some quiet time for
Do something special for someone else this time of the year. Donate to a
worthy cause or help a needy family. This is a great way to teach children
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Copyright ฉ 2004 by Rachel Keller