9 Ways to Have Stress Free Holidays

1. Make your “To Do Lists Now” (try to have done at least 2 – 3 weeks in advance)

  • Make a list of people you need to buy gifts for and amount you are spending. Keep it with you so if you are doing other shopping and you see something that would be great for someone on your list you can mark it off. Consider shopping online and through catalogs.
  • Make a list of parties you are attending. If you need to bring something (a dish to pass etc.) plan ahead for ingredients you’ll need. Don’t wait until the last minute.
  • Make a list of parties or get-togethers you are hosting. Have a complete list of everything you will need to do and have on hand for the party. Example: Centerpiece – Holly greens, candles, berries, ornaments, wire. Punch – Fruit Punch, 7-up, pineapple juice, sparkling grape juice. Hors d’oeurves – pita bread, cream cheese, green onions, sliced ham. Holiday plates, cups, napkins, glasses, silverware, etc. You get the picture. The more complete your list the easier it is to remember everything.

2. SPEND TIME DOING THINGS WITH YOUR CHILDREN OR GRANDCHILDREN. Kids keep the magic in Christmas. Plan a special event that can become your holiday tradition.
3. Cut down on the people you buy for. This is a tough one. Don’t spend more than you can afford or you’ll be stressed after the holidays paying off debts. Ask yourself, “why am I buying for this person?” I know people that have been exchanging gifts for years, neither want to exchange anymore, but each is afraid to say something to the other person. Speak up! Consider drawing names rather than buying for everyone in the family.
4. It’s about more than just presents! Remember that it’s a season. Celebrate every day! Use your Christmas china the whole month of December, not just on Christmas. Put your tree up early so you can enjoy it! If you decorate outside do it before it gets bitterly cold.
5. Don’t make all the cookies yourself. Do a “cookie exchange” with friends, family and co-workers. Have each person make 1 to 2 dozen cookies for each member in the exchange. You’ll end up with a wide assortment of cookies with very little effort.
6. Take some time for yourself each week. “NO FEELING GUILTY”!
Take a bubble bath and surround yourself with candles.
Read a good Christmas story. My favorites are “The Christmas Shoes” and “The Christmas Box”
See a Christmas play or concert
Take a night away with your spouse or friend
Go sledding, skating or play in the snow (if there is any)
Take an afternoon nap (and don’t feel guilty)
Write a letter (not E-mail) to a friend you haven’t seen in awhile
Get your hair and or nails done
7. Don’t worry about the after Christmas sales. (I can’t believe I used to get up at 5:00 a.m. just to go shopping the day after Christmas.) Now there are just as many good sales before Christmas as there are after.
8. Get in touch with “your inner self”. Take time to list all the fantastic things you have accomplished this past year. Make your goals and plans for the next year.
9. Volunteer. When we see others who are less fortunate than we are it helps us to keep everything is perspective. Add the less fortunate to your list and help with toy and food donations. Remember, “it is better to give than to receive”.
Use these suggestions and enjoy the holiday season.
This newsletter is copyrighted © December 2004 by Phelps Positive Performance, Inc. You may share this newsletter as long as full credit is given to the author and this copyright is attached.

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