5 Steps to A Stress-Free Holiday

We all know people who go all-out for the holidays. Every inch of their home, inside and out, glows with festivity. The same goes for their front and back yards, too. They make it seem effortless and genuinely enjoy every minute it takes to create the extravaganza that draws crowds from miles around just to see it. Their presents have already been purchased and wrapped weeks in advance, and the holiday baking we look forward to is in full force. To top it off, their entire family gets along so well it would make Norman Rockwell jealous.

Their unbridled enthusiasm brings immeasurable joy to our lives.

But what if you’re clueless in the kitchen, couldn’t hang a string of lights to save your life, and have no idea how you’ll keep Aunt Marge from smacking Cousin Mildred with a turkey leg?

Here are five tips for keeping stress from ruining your holiday.

Stop Trying To Keep Up With the Joneses

Maybe they have more spare time and resources than you do, but that’s no reason to beat yourself up. Don’t place added pressure on yourself. You’re doing the best you can, with what you have, where you are, as Teddy Roosevelt once said.

Your Relative’s Issues Don’t Need To Become Your Issues

Sometimes others, including our loved ones, choose to harbor grudges or spew negativity. That’s their problem, not yours. Yes, the holidays can bring touchy situations to a head, and it can be tough to deal with during family get-togethers. While you may not be able to control what Aunt Marge and Cousin Mildred do or say, you do have the ability to refuse to let them rob you of your joy. Don’t give anyone that power over you.

 It’s OK to Ask For Help in the Kitchen

Everyone has their own unique talents and gifts. If your talents don’t run toward the culinary, that’s OK. Don’t be afraid to ask your guests to pitch in or bring a favorite dish to enjoy at the feast, especially if they’re the next Julia Child. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that they’d love to help.

It’s Also OK To Do the Holidays on a Smaller Scale

Even though it’s fun to drive around and look at the clever, lovely ways others have decorated their homes, there’s no need to turn your place into Santa’s Village. If a small, charming tree and a few meaningful decorations are more your style, that’s fine.

Keep Focused on the True Meaning of the Season

Sure, we love the trimmings and trappings of the holidays. The soft, beautiful lights. Curling up with a cup of cocoa and watching our favorite old Christmas movie. Holiday music on the radio.

And that’s all wonderful, because that’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

-Gina Crisci


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