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Exploring Womanhood > Heart of the Home > Holidays & Seasons > Christmas

6 Ways to Avoid Holiday Stress

  1. Let go of the idea of the "Perfect Holiday!"

    Whichever holiday is being celebrated, talk about setting the bar impossibly high if the word perfect is the goal. The odds are always against everything going off without a hitch. Nothing and no one is perfect, so expect a few snags along the way and know that you can handle them as they crop up.

  2. Keep Gift Giving Simple

    Are you shopping for an ever-growing number of family members, friends, co-workers and even acquaintances? STOP! Cut things back a bit. Your stress-level will decrease your bank account will breathe a sigh of relief. If you cannot eliminate people from the list, cut back on the number of gifts purchased, or the amount of money spent per item.

  3. Make it as Easy as Possible

    Who says hitting the stores is the only way to enjoy the holiday experience? If shopping online floats your boat - avoid the mall! What an incredible stress reliever it is not to have to fight for parking, fight the crowds and wait in line. Who says holiday cards have to be sent via snail mail. There are a number of free virtual card providers - email them this year. Virtual cards are fun and many are even animated. Don't forget gift cards too! What a wonderful way to make sure your loved one gets exactly what they need - let them pick it out themselves. Many chain stores allow gift cards to be purchased on-line as well. Easy is possible.

  4. Go Back to the Basics

    With holiday trimmings making appearances before Halloween is over and the frequency and number of commercials for toys increasing exponentially during the last quarter of the year, it's no wonder children are giddy with the idea of what they are going to get! Cut holiday stress by switching the focus from getting to giving. Limit the number of things a child expects so that they have to put real thought into the things that will mean the most to them. Also, help children think up ideas to give to their loved ones or to people less fortunate than themselves. It's therapeutic to help others. Help them learn how to implement this ready-made holiday stress-buster.

  5. Do What you Love

    The holiday season is full of a whole lot of "shoulds", "musts" and "ought tos." Let this season mark the first one where you take back the reigns. Choose your functions by priority and don't let yourself feel pressured to attend something you don't want to. Exercise your right to say "No, thank you" and stick to your guns. Just because the season is full of activity, it doesn't mean you shouldn't have a free evening or two each week to decompress.

  6. Stick to the Plan

    Start early and make a plan for the holidays. Ways to get everything done in a manner that will create the least amount of stress for everyone involved. Remember, a plan is only as good as the person carrying it out. Tweak it as necessary, but don't let habit interfere with a well thought out plan. The reward will be a more enjoyable holiday experience.

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