The holidays are S-T-R-E-S-S-F-U-L. (That spells stressful). Shopping malls are getting more and more crowded, prices are climbing higher and higher, and it seems like after all that, we end up not having the time to spend with our loved ones which is the whole point of Christmas in the first place. If the only thing on your letter to Santa is a stress-free Christmas, here are some tips on cutting down stress in case Santa Claus doesn't deliver.
Trying to figure out what to get for someone is extremely taxing. Between wading through crowds, trying to bargain shop, and attempting to pick out something that isn't going to be re-gifted, it sometimes seems easier to just skip Christmas. Whether it's between your large (or small) group of friends, your family, or your coworkers, you can cut down on a huge chunk of the stress associated with gift giving by simply picking a name from a hat and only committing to shop for one person. Nowadays if somebody wants something, they just go ahead and buy it for themselves. They don't want a bunch of junk coming at them from all angles just because gift giving has become a necessary part of Christmas. After the New Year, spring cleaning is just around the corner - it'll be much easier with less junk lying around.
The idea of making purchases online freaks a lot of people out, but as an avid online shopper I've gotta tell ya that it's a far less stressful alternative to mall shopping. Just look up reviews on the website before you purchase anything and check out shipping costs before you submit your order. Most online stores have a live chat function where you can ask questions to a customer service representative and they can lay all your worries to rest. You can also find a lot of good deals online, so in addition to saving you from pulling your hair out, it'll save you some dollars too!
Ask for Help/Delegate
Stressed to the gills? Don't be afraid to ask for help or pass off a task or two to somebody else. Anybody can run to the post office; bribe your teenager into delivering mailing the Christmas cards by offering to let them borrow the car for a few hours. Or gather your friends around to have a beer and wrap gifts for your family. Attempting to do everything yourself is a recipe for cardiac arrest.
Have a Potluck
Christmas dinner is a huge project. It owns you for the entire day. Instead, invite family over on the condition that they each bring one dish! It's the holiday season; it's the time for sharing! So, share the stress! Not only will it help to decrease the pressure of taking on an entire dinner by yourself, it'll help cut out a lot of the cost too!
Know When to Stop
Set a day for you to stop with your holiday prep and just relax and enjoy the time with your family. There is so much to do and Christmas day is going to come whether you're ready for it or not (and chances are, you won't be). Just, try not to worry about it. Remember, Christmas is your holiday too.