Thursday, December 18, 2014

5 Tips to De-stress (Next) Christmas

Christmas is almost here. Are you delighted or debilitated?
Use these 5 tips to make next year's holiday season more joyful than Tiny Tim on Christmas morning. 

nativity scene
courtesy of stockimages

5) Prep for next year. Get in the habit of post Christmas and other clearance shopping. Watch for new-in-package items at garage sales and thrift shops. Keep the gifts in a tote, and you'll have a head start for next Christmas. Works great for birthdays and baby showers too. 

4)  Limit spending. Fix a gift budget and stick with it. Last year my sister-in-law, Murph, gave me a gorgeous plaque she'd found at a thrift store. It was in perfect shape, and fit my décor wonderfully.
Re-gifting is great. When you receive a potential re-gifting item, tape a note on it. Include the date and who it's from to keep from giving it back to the original giver.

3) Break Tradition. If you always cook a feast for your extended family, ask each member to bring along a side-dish instead. You'll save time and money. Plus it assures your guests of one dish they'll enjoy-their own.
Create new traditions, like taking a special family outing in lieu of gifts. Seriously, how many gifts do your children need?  

2) Under-commit. It's OK to say no. "Sorry, I can't host the ... cook the... head up the ..."  No need to explain why. A simple, "I'm sorry, I can't." suffices. You might need to repeat it several times, but it will work. That goes for parties too.

nativity scene
courtesy of digidreamgrafix @

1) Remember why we celebrate Christmas in the first place. Focus on the joy of Jesus birth. Let cooking, cleaning, and shopping take a back seat to the great news found in Luke 2:11:

"The Savior--yes, the Messiah, the Lord--has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!"

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