Ahh, the holidays. A time for singing carols, trimming the tree, eating turkey… and dealing with family drama. This year, are you hoping to cut the crazy out of Christmas? Retail therapy doesn’t have quite the same calming effect during the holiday season when you’re fighting your way through a crowd to snag a must-have iPad or wrestling for that last honey-glazed ham.
Every year we put ourselves under an enormous amount of pressure to deliver the perfect Christmas. We want to buy the perfect gifts for our family and friends, ensure that the food and drink are all delicious, and we want to give our kids a Christmas they’ll remember. All this pressure inevitably results in a lot of stress and friction, and can really put a dampener on what should be a time of happiness and celebration. But there are plenty of other super-quick ways to a stress free Christmas.
Just take a deep breath, and follow the easy tips to a stress free Christmas:
1. Crunch your way to calm. Munching crisp foods is the oral equivalent of squeezing a stress ball. (Chewing releases built-up pressure.) But that doesn’t give you a free pass to chomp on candy canes all day. Snack on jicama slices, a few roasted nuts, celery sticks, baby carrots or an apple instead.
2. Prune the to-do list. Ask, “If I don’t do this, what will happen?” Aim to knock down the list of chores to the rock-bottom necessity.
3. Wrap as you go. Who needs to spend Christmas Eve catching up on wrapping chores? Sticky notes will help you keep track of gift contents.
4. Buy, don’t bake. Turn your back on the oven this year. Supermarkets, bakeries and the freezer department of the discount warehouse are a great source for delicious, pre-baked holiday treats.
5. Call, don’t send cards. Reach out and touch someone … the easy way. Online greeting cards are easy, inexpensive and fun to send. No more lines at the post office!
6. Cut the clean-a-thon. Focus cleaning attention on kitchen and public rooms; private areas can slide til season’s end. Better to schedule deep-cleaning chores like carpet cleaning until after the wear-and-tear of the holiday season.
7. Downsize dishwashing. Hand-washing fine china is nobody’s idea of a good time, so move to everyday stoneware. Simpler still: paper plates!
8. Finger food, not feast. A smorgasboard of tasty tidbits is easier on the cook and kinder to the waistline than a sit-down dinner. Share the work by hosting pot-luck events.
9. Let go of gift guilt. Your budget is small, but your family is big. And that has you worried: How are you going to afford gifts for everyone? Luckily, you don’t have to spend a ton of cash to have a memorable holiday. Gather your family (and call any relatives you normally exchange gifts with) and suggest that this year you do one of the following: Buy presents only for the kids, do a Secret Santa drawing with a $25 price cap or exchange homemade gifts.
10. Keep gossips in check. Your niece’s miniskirt is way too short. Your cousin shows up without his wife (hmm…those divorce rumors must be true). Every family has stuff to gossip about. But a holiday get-together isn’t the time or place for it.
11. Stay home! Cuddling down close to the hearth beats holiday travel any day. A holiday “stay-cation” allows for evening drives to see the lights, family camp-outs in front of the Christmas tree, and evenings spent with carols and popcorn. Fun!
12. Leave the lights to professional Christmas light installers: Sure the holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year, unless you’re the one assigned to climb tall ladders or spend hours untangling old lights. Why not eliminate all of those hassles and headaches by hiring a professional Christmas light installation company to complete your holiday decorations for you? Our Christmas light installers will ensure that your Christmas décor looks great all season long! Through our network of Christmas light hangers we offer Christmas decorating services nationwide.
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