How to handle holiday stress

No Stress ChristmasCharme Davidson hopes never to repeat the first Christmas she was married with her husband. She had just had a new baby in the house and everyone thought they should share Christmas with the new baby at Charme’s house.
“Christmas that year was terrible,” said Charme. “I ended up getting a migraine headache and the baby cried the whole time my family was there. My husband and I never even got to eat. I’ll never repeat that kind of nightmare again.”

Charme, and others like her, developed the Christmas blues because they inadvertently brought too much unnecessary stress into the holiday season. In fact, there are things a person can do to avoid the excess stress inherent to Christmas and related holidays–stress that thousands of individuals put themselves through each year.

Set realistic limits

The first piece of holiday advice is to set realistic limits on what you can and can’t do. For Example, serving dinner for twenty something people with a new baby in the house isn’t an attainable goal if you want to have a nice Christmas. While you may be able to pull it off, the stress can be enormous.

Don’t sweat the small stuff

The food doesn’t have to be gourmet and the presents don’t have to be ideal. Spending too much time worrying over whether or not something fits is a waste of stressful energy. The gift’s recipient won’t mind as much as you’re stressing over it.

Don’t overdo your budget for the holidays

Spending within your limits and avoiding high credit card purchases will keep your stress level down to a minimum. Plan your budget in advance so you won’t be surprised when the bills pile up.

Plan the rest of your holiday season in advance

Plan in advance where you’ll be spending the holidays and with whom. Avoid spending too much time at places where you know tempers will clash. Plan some rest time so you or your children won’t get overly tired. If you’re entertaining guests, think hard about who you want to come and who should go elsewhere for the holidays. It’s your holiday, too, and you need to enjoy it. Make certain everyone knows who you’ve decided to invite so that other plans can be made for some.

Be a delegator

Let others bring dishes to the gathering and hire out someone to clean your home, even if it’s on a one time basis. If you’re married, give your spouse a share of the work load. Even older children can help set the table or decorate the home. Skip the unnecessary decorating that no one will notice anyway. If you learn to delegate, you’ll notice that you’re more relaxed and patient with everyone around you.

Plan your meal ahead of time

You won’t be caught unawares with something not done. Freeze some dishes in advance, have some catered in and know how much your oven can handle. Remember, you’ll have much of the oven taken up by ham or turkey so you may need to bake some casseroles in advance and reheat them after the ham or turkey gets out.

Wrap a few small gifts to give

They will come handy whenever you get into a tight spot and need to give a gift to visitors you may have forgot. And have fun! It’s your Christmas, too.

Remember, too, to get in a small supply of little presents and ready-wrap them for those embarrassing moments when you get an unexpected gift yourself.

After all, Uncle Fred snores through the Queen’s Speech — this year, you don’t want to join him!

Leave a Comment

XHTML: You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>