Did you glide through Thanksgiving with ease or was it a hair-raising nightmare? Thanksgiving can be viewed as kind of a dry-run for Christmas. To help make December more enjoyable, think back to what you did well during Thanksgiving and what you would do differently if you had the chance.
Here are a few thoughts on how to lessen stress during the Christmas season.
My mother-in-law only had Thursday off for Thanksgiving this year. So she began cooking our Thanksgiving feast on Monday night. I remember my grandmother would be in the kitchen for days before Thanksgiving.
This "plan ahead" concept also works well for other aspects of Christmas. Start buying a few gifts each week to spread out the shopping hours and dollars over time. Write and address a few Christmas cards each day. Begin wrapping presents as you buy them, a couple at a time.
If you aren't able to do it all, or just don't enjoy doing it all, ask for help! It's okay. Most people enjoy feeling useful and will be glad to bring their favorite dish to share. You may be able to divvy up some of the present shopping, too.
Charities often set up gift-wrapping stations to raise funds. You can donate to a worthy cause while you let someone else wrap your presents. If you have the funds, you can purchase pre-printed Christmas cards and envelopes with your return address already printed on them.
Lighten your calendar by limiting engagements. How difficult is it for you to decline an invitation when you have an evening open? If you are married, figure out which spouse has an easier time saying, "No," and let them have the responsibility of scheduling activities for the month of December.
A quick internet search of "Christmas planning ahead" will provide more ideas for de-stressing your holiday. Add the word "meals" and you're likely to find a cooking schedule to keep you on track.
What are your tips for enjoying a stress-free holiday?