It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Well almost… And by wonderful I also mean busy. Is it just me or does Christmas seem to become crazier and crazier every year? Maybe it’s because I am older now and the time of year requires more from me. Baking, decorating, shopping, wrapping presents, visiting family and friends. Things certainly do get crazy!
I can only imagine the feelings that parents have trying to pull all of the above off all while Santa’s scheduled visit creeps nearer. Props to you parents!
Don’t get me wrong, I bloody love Christmas and all of its hoopla. However, let’s be real here it’s a stress point. I now understand a little better why stiff drinks and Christmas go hand and hand. Could it be self-medication and survival disguised as Christmas cheer?
If you are like myself struggling to grasp the demands of the season all while trying to remain in high non-stressed spirits then perhaps some of the lessons I have learned along the way may help relieve the potential stress of the season or at the very least help.
6 Ways to Avoid Christmas Stress
Write a List
This may be a no-brainer, but seriously writing out lists has made my Christmas shopping and organizing so much easier. I start by writing out a list of everyone I am getting gifts or cards for. Then I will write next to their names ideas for gifts. Lastly, I will write all of the things I did buy and place them on the list perhaps in a different color. (Sometimes with the price) From my experience, this is the best way for me to keep track of what I need to get , and it also keeps me from going overboard on gifts, only buying what I planned.
Use a Schedule
Thank you to my trusty phone again for this one, because that is where I keep track of my life apparently. However, a calendar of any kind will work fine. What do I do? Simple, schedule all of the events you are going to during the holiday season. This has been a saving grace for me the past few years, as the amount of Christmas invitations to parties and dinners has increased. If there was ever a time when scheduling was important it is during Christmas. It’s just a matter of remembering to do it. Hmm…
Ask for Help
Gift wrapping, shopping, decorating, baking. Help wanted! One year during Christmas when I was a little girl I walked into my grandmother’s kitchen following the delicious scent of gingerbread. I was shocked to find Nanny sitting at the kitchen table snoring away passed completely out in a mountain of flour. I, of course, found this hilarious and still do. But the moral of my story? She would bake so many things for Christmas and refused to let anyone help her with anything, I guess it just caught up with her that year. Although still funny I don’t wish to have the same fate as my grandmother so I think I will enlist some help this year and years to come.
Have you ever heard of a Christmas cookie party? Me either, until yesterday. Here is how it works… You and your friends pick a day to meet up before Christmas your job is to bring 2-3 dozen homemade cookies with you. The result… you all leave with a crap load of fresh homemade cookies of all different types and you only had to bake one yourself. Genius! I am so going to organize one of these next years.
This is a rule of thumb that more seasoned Christmas celebrators always seem to follow. I myself never really listened to their advice until recent years when I began to realize that it is much better to be prepared and buy things little by little rather than saving it all for the last minute. Talk about saving yourself from stress. Even if early November is your version of “starting early”, it’s still better than Dec 24th.
Duh! I mean this is obvious, right? Well not for me apparently. This is the first year I have budgeted for Christmas and I feel so much better about everything. A friend of mine buys one present every payday starting in July. My mother pokes money away every payday starting in January. My aunt takes out her sick pay or vacation pay. Everyone seems to have a way of saving for this financially demanding time of year. So this year in an attempt to be a big girl I decided to join the wise people in my life. And I am never going back to my old ways. No regrets!
In previous years the love and excitement of Christmas have overwhelmed and blurred my judgment. Causing me to shop beyond my means and buy way too many gifts for everyone on my list. This year I have decided to go a simpler route, making homemade gifts and limiting my purchases. I feel great about this already. It is after all not about how much you get but the thought that goes behind it. A concept that I shamefully admit has taken me way too long to grasp.
“Instead of being a time of unusual behavior, Christmas is perhaps the only time in the year when people can obey their natural impulses and express their true sentiments without feeling self-conscious and, perhaps, foolish. Christmas, in short, is about the only chance a man has to be himself.” ~ Francis C. Farley
Share some tips and thoughts with ScaleSimple. How do you deal with Christmas Stress?