Q: I like the idea of Christmas much more than the actual thing. Every year I look forward to it and when it actually comes it’s way too stress filled. How can I make it more fun and less stressful for me and my family? …………. Sandy, S
A: I agree let’s have more fun and less stress this holiday season! First decide what you like most about Christmas and what it is that makes you smile. Is it watching the children have fun, is it gathering with family and enjoying each other’s company, is it baking cookies and the smells in the kitchen? Once you know what’s most important to you you can begin to focus on that and let some of the other things fall away or at least not take up so much of your time.
If you love to bake and cook, try to make things ahead of time and freeze them. You could make a cookie swap arrangement with some friends, each of you make a lot of one kind of cookie and then get together to ’share’ and you will all have a variety to serve to friends and family without all the work.
Gift giving is an especially challenging issue. Once you’ve made a list of who you want to gift and know what you can spend then comes the work. Hand crafted gift are great but work best if you thought of it before December– with the exception of food of course. Food makes an awesome gift if you have the talent and the time. Gift cards are a great option. Sometimes they are thought of as impersonal, but you can choose a card to a place you know they love and will actually use. Personalize it with a special note and your gift will be a success.
Shop online as much as possible. You can price shop more easily, it gets shipped right to your door and you will be less likely to impulse buy like you do at the mall. Usually shipping is reasonable during this season and sometimes they even wrap it for free.
Have a few generic gifts on hand in case you forgot someone so you won’t panic and overbuy at the last minute. Make it something you would like yourself if it doesn’t get used.
Actively pursue that thing that makes Christmas special to you, play Christmas music, pick out and decorate a tree with your children, write those Christmas card notes you like to write and receive, make someone’s favorite cookies and watch their eyes light up when they see you coming.
Get a little more spiritual. With all the commercial aspects of Christmas it’s easy to forget the reason for the celebration in the first place. Go to a holiday service, watch one on television, make a conscious decision to allow the joy of the holiday to fill you up and spill around to everyone around you.
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- Wednesday, 19 December 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Ask Madalyn