Starbuck Christmas cups are out, storefront windows are decorated, and holiday sales are cluttering your inbox. Though still weeks away, the pressure is starting to build. Life will soon be filled with cards to send, presents to buy, entertaining, and decorating. Sound overwhelming? It doesn’t have to be. Follow my 5 foolproof tips for a less stressful holiday season and get back to the spiritual heart of the holidays instead.
Here are 5 tips to combat that stressed-out feeling that comes from trying to do too much in too little time. Here’s how to lighten your holiday load and focus on what really counts.
Resist the urge to be Martha Stewart
If you feel that holiday decor is a must, make an impact simply. A pile of pumpkins and gourds make a festive Thanksgiving centerpiece. Choose wreaths made of pinecones to last you through to January. Buy a fake tree with prestrung lights for yearly reuse. Place a trio of nutcrackers on the mantel and you’re done.
Take the stress out of sending your holiday cards by going online
Use an online card company to print, address, and mail your holiday cards for you. Or make a reusable address list to print address labels from (no more hand addressing for you!)
It’s a family affair at our house where we put on a Christmas movie and set up an assembly line. One person to stuff, one to seal, one to stamp, and one to attach the address label.
Get the family to help out during the holidays
Get the kids to decorate the tree. The ornaments may end up two feet from the floor and huddled together for warmth, but who cares? Reward them with cookie decorating using plain store-bought cookies and icing tubes from the cake aisle.
Don’t make life more stressful by overscheduling
If you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed by your holiday agenda, don’t over-schedule your time and take on more than you can manage. Decide in advance just how many parties or other events you can handle, then whittle down the list to your set limit. Politely but firmed decline the rest. You can make plans to hang out with them in January instead.
Shop online, in your stress-free home
Packed parking lots, long lines, crowded malls, and higher blood pressure – is all this stress what you want? This year, opt for a calmer, gentler shopping experience. Grab your slippers, a warm cup of apple cider, and turn on the computer.
Shopping early is a huge stress saver too. I have lots of small framed and matted paintings (all $85) that would make perfect gifts for a holiday housewarming, or to put under the tress for family and friends. All ready to hang paintings for your gift-giving needs can be seen on my website.
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