The holidays are right around the corner and for several people that means stress. For those of you out there who stress during the holidays because you’re trying to create the perfect Norman Rockwell experience, I challenge you to de-stress your holiday’s and enjoy your time with family and friends.
This is my favorite time of year. But too few of us realize, or ever even think about the fact that every day is a gift. Every holiday we get to spend with our family and friends is a gift. One we shouldn’t take it for granted or miss by being stressed out because we’re trying to make it perfect.
Here are a few tips you can use to keep your Christmas spirit lower your stress levels.
People tend to stop in around the holidays, sometimes expected, sometimes not. Prepare ahead of time for unexpected guests so that you can enjoy their company rather than stress because you have nothing to offer them.
There are dozens of quick and easy recipes out there, a few with a mere 5 ingredients. I urge you to find two of these that work for you. Have the ingredients on hand so you can throw something together at the last minute if need be. One of my favorite ways to do this is to toss the dry ingredients for a fruit crisp together and store in a mason jar. I also keep some frozen fruit in the freezer. A couple minutes of prep and it can be in the oven cooking away while you visit your guests instead of running around like a chicken with your head cut off.
Sometimes the amount of people you have to buy gifts for can be daunting to say the least. But if you hit some of the online sites like Amazon, or Overstock.org you can do quite a bit of your shopping without leaving the comfort of your home. Save the out and about Christmas shopping for more unique presents and buy those at stores that add to your Christmas spirit rather than suck it away. A few of my favorites for enjoying the season are:
Book Stores-It is amazing the gifts that can be found at your local book store or even the larger chain Barnes and Noble and I have found some even offer free gift wrapping. Take time to stop in and buy a present or two and treat yourself to a hot cocoa or eggnog latte. Let me tell you, you will leave with a lift to your spirits.
Small specialty stores-Why not support the small business man? I always find the most personalized and unique gifts in these little stores. And what could be more Christmassy (Is that a word? Yep, it is in my world!)then walking down Main Street with Holiday window displays and Christmas decorations lining the street. Almost every town has a Main Street where a majority of these little shops can be found. Much more personable and quaint then the bigger chain stores. And again, some have gift wrapping available.
Fill your holiday with cheer, not stress. Host a gingerbread house party (I am!) or on a smaller scale, a sugar cookie decorating contest. Do one thing that represents Christmas-Go to the Nutcracker, maybe the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, or just put some hot chocolate in a thermos and take a drive to check out the Christmas lights. In the end it doesn’t matter what activities you choose, just enjoy them, and try not to fit so many things in that you are so overwhelmed that you don’t.
Finally, please don’t let yourself stress over money. Try and remember it is the thought that counts. If you find you’re short of money this holiday season there are several things you can still do and the people who love you will probably be more touched then if you went out and spent a lot of money. Select a special song and record it for someone you love. From my experience, nothing is more touching than that. A special ornament that symbolizes something to the person you are giving it too will make a lasting impression and not bust the budget, or bake for your family members, because who doesn’t love something sweet and yummy?
Whatever you choose to do this Holiday season, my hope for you is that you turn on the Christmas Carols, Deck the Halls, and above all, Enjoy the time with the people you love. Do not take a second of it for granted.
What are some favorite holiday traditions your family likes to celebrate?
Next week we’ll be checking in again for Thursday Throw-Down Challenge before New Year’s. Hope everyone is rocking it out!!!