I'm Dreaming Of A Stress Free Christmas

Happy Christmas holidays! Can you believe they are here?

Actually, Christmas is my fav time of the year. The key is to not let the holidays capture your sanity in all the hustle and bustle.

I'm Dreaming of a Stress Free Christmas!
Stress levels bring the flu season on earlier than expected, as well as other health issues. Often family issues propagate holiday stressors, and financial issues can hit an all time high. More so in times like these when we are officially in a recession. And even something as simple as decorating can become a strain on our well being.

I've lived all of the above.

Surviving the Holiday Blues OR How Not to Have a Blue Christmas:

Santa Money Well Spent
  • Take Control of your decisions. Don't be pulled in by sales adds and or impulsion!
  • Decide what amount you are going to use for gifts.
  • Keep gift giving simple. How many gifts are not really wanted when we have "sweat-ed" to find just the right gift. Consider the gift of time as it keeps on giving. I would love to have family offer to give me the day off while they spend it with my mother.
  • Consider writing a poem or a story for someone special.
  • Or make a special gift. Those are usually treasured above all.
  • And if you have someone who doesn't appreciate anything but something expensive: quit enabling their material dysfunction.
  • Give a gift as a group to someone special.
  • Shop early. Early in the morning, OR if you are brave, shop late at night. Take a gun. Well, at least take pepper-spray. Recently a guy told me about about "trying it out" as he didn't think it would be so bad, but when it put him to his knees, he changed his mind.
  • Don't buy a sales item just because it seems like a good price. Make sure the quality is there.
  • Buy one gift of quality as opposed to a bunch of junk. How many of us have done that or have had junk handed to us? And it lands on Christmas Garbage Hill.
Your Time Well Spent

  • Take time out every day and listen to your fav artist singing Christmas tunes. Or turn on 103.7 for all day music.
  • Sit a spell with a hot cup of coffee or tea or hot chocolate. Drop a few marshmallows and red and green sparkles for fun.
  • Meet with a close friend and have a cup of Christmas coffee or tea.
  • Hug everyone more often!
  • Watch your fav Christmas movies. I usually try and watch one most every night! I love Jack Frost. Preacher's Wife. It's A Wonderful Life. Miracle on 34Th Street. White Christmas. Snow Dogs. Iron Will. OK, OK, so some of these are about snow...but for me that defines Christmas.
  • Take a tour of your neighborhood's lights...or a friend's neighborhood. The kids and I used to blow the horn if we thought the lights/decorations were great. If not, well, they got a big "Boo" out the window, along with repetitive honking. I know it sounds terrible, but we had fun and didn't hurt any one's feelings. No one ever heard us. Or at least I don't think they did. Although now that I"m thinking about it, some of my neighbor's don't speak anymore. And someone did cut my outdoor lights throughout the season one year. Hmmmmm.
  • Lite a fire in your fireplace. If you don't have one, pretend. Lite about 5 large glowing candles.
  • Have a party! BUT keep a fire extinguisher on hand. More importantly, make sure it works. One year I had a party and a table votive candle caught tissue paper on fire. Unbelievable. The whole table was suddenly on fire, and as the paper dispersed to the floor, so did the fire. Thirty women in a house caught on fire isn't where you want to be if you want to live. It was wild. Water was being flung from one end of the house to the other, totally missing the flames! We couldn't figure how to make the fire extinguisher work, then when we did, it broke. Foot stomping doesn't work either. I tried it. Good thing my pants was fire retardant, but my shoes weren't. Fun times. Yes, we got the fire put out but not without leaving behind a mass of confusion and debris of soot. And a hot memory.
Family Matters At Christmas????

  • Yes, they matter, but not more than your sanity. Take a break from spending more time with them when you are only doing it out of manipulation.
  • By the way, do not, I repeat, do NOT manipulate your loved ones into coming to your home. Offer and leave it at that. Then you'll know they came because they wanted to.
  • If you are in a "combined" family due to divorce and or remarriage, find a good balance. Expect to not get what you want every time. Give people breathing space. Especially your adult children. Let them have their own time. If they are with your ex, so be it. Wait your turn. If it doesn't come, then don't play the control game. It will always backfire.
  • As in some families, every other year is expected that you show up at a certain in-laws house. I've heard more complaints about this arrangement and have never found it to be filled with the Christmas spirit. Let your adult children have the freedom to go where they want every year.
  • If you are just going thru a divorce, find a good support group. Don't go without counseling during this time. The holidays can be the hardest during these times. Know they will pass. Know that you are not helpless or hopeless. Don't give your happiness over to others. Make decisions that will give you strength and comfort. Allow yourself to cry. To talk. To be quiet. To be alone. To be around others and not be all smiles.
  • If you have just lost a loved one or are going to have your first holiday without them, embrace their memory. Live Christmas like they would want you to. Find a way to reach out to others, to get your mind off of your loss. Write a letter to them and tell them how much you miss them. But tell them how you are going to live life because of their influence.
Your Little Elves

  • Involve your children in events around the house.
  • Take some time out for you, away from your kiddos without feeling guilty.
  • Take time out for you and your hubby, wife, special friend.
  • Barter with a good friend to watch your kiddos so you can get out.

And For Santa Sakes:

  • Don't let the Grinch get you.
  • Don't believe if you've been bad, Santa won't be stopping by. I am certain he will. He's never missed a Christmas at my house. That should tell you something about the old guy!
  • Don't eat like it's your last meal. There will be leftovers tomorrow.
  • Exercise. Take a brisk walk through your 'hood and enjoy the decorations!
  • PILATES 3x a WEEK! OK, OK, 2x.
  • Read the Christmas story. And I don't mean about Rudolf getting a nose job.

And To All A Good Night!

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