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OMG the stress of the holidays

If you’re like me, your holiday stress is pretty much self-induced. A should list a mile long is the biggest culprit. Throw in some holiday get togethers with relatives and a few cocktails – a recipe for stress-overload.

To minimize stress, start with the basics. Decorate to accent your style, not to excess and not to impress. Pass on decorations that no longer fit the current occupants of the household. If you love it, use it. If you don’t love it, pass it on to someone who does. Do you really need new decorations? If so, then set a budget and stick to it.

Next on the list, use a list! We are constantly on overload so make it easy on yourself, plan and make yourself notes. That is one stressor eliminated – forgetting to do something! Then there’s the christmas card tradition. My thoughts on cards is that they are a good way to stay in touch with people we don’t see often. If that is the case, make sure to jot a personal note in each one rather than just signing. If you can’t jot a note, maybe it’s not worth doing.

Shopping! More than ever, it’s necessary to operate within a budget. More people are opting out of christmas gift giving because they’d rather not give or get gifts that won’t be used. My goal is to only buy something for someone if I believe it is something they will love or really use. Instead consider adopting a family in need -it may be much more rewarding.

Then there’s holiday get togethers. To me, the season is for getting together with family and friends you may see often or, not so often. I have gotten myself very stressed out when hosting these get togethers. I think the key is not worry about making everything just perfect and not to lose sight of the real purpose. Try to remember that guests are coming to see you, not your house. It’s also okay to exclude individuals that tend to be negative and upset holiday gatherings. The one stipulation here is that if you do exclude less joyful guests, consider and be prepared for future fallout.

Lastly, part of the holiday season is anticipation. It truly is a balancing act to approach the holidays with joyful anticipation without setting yourself up for disappointment. So anticipate the season with joy, but with a healthy dose of reality. All the best to you and yours this holiday season!