Don’t over commit.
Cooking, Christmas programs, outings… The list goes on. Only do what you know you can do without getting overwhelmed. If you even have doubts that you can add something to your list without it stressing you out- don’t. Just don’t. What happens if it will make someone upset? You choose your battle. Stress vs. Aunt Linda having to get someone else to bring the pecan pie? (Side note: if you are married, be sure to tell your spouse that you are wanting to cut back in the extra responsibilities department. No wife enjoys hearing that she’s been volunteered to do a list of things for everyone around the holidays!)
Put aside any differences with anyone. None of us know if all our family members will be with us next Christmas. It sounds morbid, but I’ve been personally reminded of this throughout this year.
For us, this is our first year as a family of three at Christmas, I’m soaking it in.
Have a Christmas budget.
Sorry to bring up the dreaded topic of finances…but, without a spending budget, debt is inevitable. Some don’t mind charging presents to a credit card and paying it off right after Christmas. Just make sure you are disciplined enough to do so. Also, knowing how much you are willing to spend on each person will keep you from overspending. Overspending = stress.
Take a hot bath. (Said nearly everyone I asked on my Instagram!)
Essential oils or bath fizz or bubble bath, maybe some soft music in the background…ah, yes.
Spend time in silence, surrounded by the joyful ambiance of a dark room lit by a tree.
Take time to remember what the Christmas season is all about. Use this time to read your Bible or a good book. My Instagram followers unanimously said that early morning was best for quiet time.
Do something for someone in need.
You have no idea the joy that it will bring you. When you are serving others/doing good, the stress melts away. It’s hard to be anything but happy knowing that you are making someone else happy.
Get your rest.
It’s hard with all the activities of the season, but make a point to leave the Christmas party at a reasonable time, or plan ahead for the Christmas baking so that you aren’t making questionably shaped sugar cookies at midnight. (Just dump sprinkles all over those, and make ’em guess!)
These are adaptable to all seasons. Life can get crazy and we can let our responsibilities choke out the beauty of living if we aren’t careful. I am as guilty as anyone. I love to volunteer but I have really felt a sense of relief and excitement about Christmas after saying no to several things this year!
Here’s to a stress-free holiday for all of you! Merry Christmas!