5 Tips to Simplify Holiday Stress

Is there anything better than this time of year? Pumpkin pie, Christmas lights and the ever-present stress of finding the right gift for everyone on our lists are enough to drive this girl crazy.

Well, I’m all about simplifying the holiday madness and I hope these tips help you too.

Church Fellowship Halls – Tired of traveling around, dragging the kids and dogs from place to place on Thanksgiving and Christmas day. If so, then reserve a local fellowship hall. My family has done this for the past three Thanksgivings and it has worked out splendidly for all. We invite all of our family on both sides and they are welcome to invite their family members also. The only rule: bring a couple of things to eat.

Potluck Dishes or Catering- If you’re tired of cooking for large crowds then have everyone bring a dish to your holiday meal. We always end up with way too much food to eat and everyone leaving satisfied. Perhaps your brood isn’t the cooking type and you’re afraid you’ll end up with nothing but ramen noodles to eat, then supply a catered meal. If you have a generous family, then they shouldn’t mind chipping in to cover the cost in lieu of cooking.

Smaller Christmas Trees – As much as I love a large, live Christmas tree, my wiser age has taught me that vacuuming up pine needles and sacrificing valuable space in my smaller living room is just not worth it in this household. Instead, we decorate two smaller, straighter trees that can be stored away in our back room with the decorations still intact. The week of Thanksgiving, I walked to my back room, picked up my two trees and carried them, already decorated, to their designated spots. Then I added touches around the room with figurines, bells, and quilted stockings. All was completed in about an hour and then I could sit back, admire the lights while sipping hot tea from my Christmas mug … stress-free.

Online Shopping – I’ve never been one to enjoy endless walking into multitudes of stores to find the right present for someone. I’m more of a “let’s do lunch” girl than a “let’s go shopping” girl. Therefore, on Black Friday, I spend the day in my pajamas with a good cup of coffee and order all my gifts online. I’ve found this allows me to really think about and purchase unique gifts that suit everyone better than settling for some bargain bin gift just to have something to wrap. Plus, I can usually find really good deals and the presents come with a box ready for wrapping.

Give back – Many people need others to help them have a good Christmas and when we help others our stress levels decrease. I’ve never regretted helping someone provide a meal or gifts for their family when they may not have the means to do so themselves. If fact, the joy that comes with giving to others is the best stress-free gift of all.

The joy that comes with giving to others is the best stress-free gift of all. Click To Tweet

I hope these tips will help us reduce the stress in our holiday season and provide more time to do what we truly love … spending time with the ones we love during the most wonderful time of the year.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and God’s blessings to all!

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