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Holiday Stress Savers

STYLE TRENDS December 2018/January 2019
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Holiday Stress Savers

Some helpful tips to keep things simple this year.

Every year you promise you will do less during the holidays but enjoy it more. You’ll do all the baking before Halloween, have the gifts purchased and beautifully wrapped before Thanksgiving, and the house will be adorned and ready for all the festivities looking like the pages of a magazine.

So what’s wrong with those expectations? Well, everything! The holidays should be about much more than all the hustle and bustle and certainly, about more than the lengthy to-do lists we create for ourselves. This year, skip the holiday stress and try some of these tips to keep things simple and stress free.

Set Your Priorities

Before you start your holiday planning, ask yourself: What do I love the most? What do I dread the most? Let the answers guide you in deciding what to put at the top of your to-do list and what you can simplify or delete altogether.

Be Realistic

If you and your family travel over the holidays, then match your decorating efforts to the amount of time you may be home to actually enjoy them. Focus on some key areas like the front door, mantle, living room or kitchen and let the rest go.

Display Your Gifts

You can let beautifully wrapped gifts become part of your holiday décor when you stack them on bookshelves, a mantel, or a chair. This is an easy decorating solution and they disappear after they are opened.

Just Say No

Don’t let yourself get caught in the trap of doing something just because it’s what you have always done. Commit only to activities that really matter to you and your family. Say no to other things and it will free up some time and give you a little breathing room.

Set the Table Early

If you are hosting the dinner party then set the table the day before if you can. That way you have time to play and get it just right before you have to worry about cooking and preparing food the day of the party.

Hold On to Daily Rituals

If you like to read before bed or do yoga first thing in the morning, then don’t give it up in favor of yet another holiday chore. Keeping our everyday practices will help keep you calm and centered.

Stock Up On Supplies

Whether it is batteries, wrapping paper, tape, candles or napkins, stock up early on some of the essential holiday supplies you will need. Nothing is more frustrating than running out of something half way through a project.

Make Meals Ahead of Time

In the weeks before Christmas, when you make a meal for your family, double the recipe and freeze half. This way you are already preparing the recipe and you can pull out a home-made meal in minutes when time is short or you have guests.

Request Free Gift-Wrapping

If you enjoy the ritual of wrapping gifts then certainly go for it. But there are many stores that offer this service if you just ask, and there are lots of charities and non-profits that set up booths at the mall or craft shows. You can save some time and feel good about giving to a worth-while organization.

Leave Assembly to the Experts

The words “some-assembly-required” can put dread and fear in some folks. Instead of fighting it, let the store’s staff put together your gift. Even if you have to pay a fee it is worth it because they can do it fast, they can do it correctly, and they probably can do it in their sleep and you can’t.

Stick With the Recipes They Love

A special event is not the time to experiment with a new recipe no matter how delicious it might look. Instead, do what you know how to do and you can do well. Chances are the classic, tried-and-true foods you always prepare are the ones your family and friends love the most.

Don’t hesitate to ask for help

You don’t have to do it all yourself and guests usually prefer to help in some way. If someone offers to bring something, say yes. Give some options about what you want to include in the meal or have them bring that special dish that you love. Have somebody help at the bar or serve drinks. Perhaps have someone welcome guests when they arrive and you are busy in the kitchen. Let everyone take part.

 

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