Christmas is one of the most joyous times of the year, but it can also be one of the most stressful — if you let it. We become consumed with holiday gift shopping, planning the perfect holiday gatherings, and many of us rush to prepare for a house full of visitors. Here are six tips for a stressless Christmas.
Simplify Your Christmas
Christmas traditions don’t have to be over-the-top. It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of a perfect Christmas and overdo things which do not need to be overdone. Make a list of your favorite Christmas traditions, then analyze which of these things you spend too much time planning and not enough time actually enjoying. If you’re too wrapped up in making Christmas perfect for everyone, you’ll spend less time living in the moment.
If you simplify traditions, you will create a less stressless Christmas that will allow more time for you to actually enjoy the holiday, while you also save money.
Have a Potluck
If you expect several guests, consider having a potluck style Christmas dinner. This will help take the stress off of the preparation of a large sit-down meal, which takes hours to plan, shop, prepare, serve and clean up. If everyone contributes a side dish or dessert, you will be able to enjoy your company more so than if you had the responsibility of the entire meal. Make the turkey or ham your priority, then share the rest. A stressless Christmas is possible.
Organize a Gift Exchange
Gifts can become the bulk of the stress you feel during the holidays, especially if you have a large family. Don’t feel like you have to buy the perfect gift for everyone. Not only is it stressful, but it can also drain your bank account. If you’re having the family over at your home for the holidays, you may want to organize a gift exchange beforehand, that way everyone gets gifts from one another, but no one feels they have to buy for everyone. This is also a fun way to mix things up a bit and include a few surprises.
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Take a New Approach To Greeting Cards
Christmas cards are a project that requires a family photo, card design and what can be a long trip to the post office. Maybe you enjoy this part of Christmas, but if you feel it’s a major cause of your stress, simplify it. It’s no secret that the physical greeting card industry is suffering due to overpriced pieces of paper. Don’t pay $5 for a piece of paper that will likely be thrown away after a couple of weeks anyway.
Send out online greeting cards to your friends and family without losing the meaning of a physical greeting card. This will save you lots of time and money, but also cater more to our digital age. Add a video or link your business’ website if you’re sending on behalf of your company. This option will also allow for freer creative reign, as opposed to limited physical card options.
Tone Down the Decorations
Many of us have seen “Christmas Vacation” or some other Christmas movie based around outdoing your neighbors, friends and family with the best decorations. This is as silly as it sounds in the movies. Focus on decorations that work for you and your immediate loved ones who live there. Choose colors, styles and arrangements which fit your personal vision, not your neighbor’s vision.
It’s ok to use current trends to get ideas, but if you become too wrapped up in decorations that impress everyone else, you will lose the true meaning behind the decorations, which is to relax and enjoy the season. Choose a color or color combo you enjoy, then integrate it into your décor. This will also make it easier to execute if you have a color theme to follow.
Since it’s so easy to get caught up in holiday chaos, it’s even more important that you remember you. This means you should do the things that relax you. Go to the gym, go on a jog, attend a yoga or barre class — whatever relaxes you, keep it in your routine. Even if you feel you don’t have the time for a lengthy workout or run, a simple ten minute yoga routine will do wonders. Choose two or three poses to focus on, and integrate them into your new yoga routine.
Christmas doesn’t have to be a stressful time of the year. If you learn to balance planning, shopping and entertaining with a fair amount of relaxation time for yourself, you will no doubt cut down the level of stress you may typically feel. Take into consideration some of the other above tips on simplifying traditions, and bring the focus back to what’s really important — gratitude and being together.
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