Five Ways to Fight Holiday Stress

A classic holiday tune tells us this is the most wonderful time of the year. But with parties to attend, food to prepare, and gifts to buy and wrap, it can feel overwhelming.

Here are five tips to stop stressing and enjoy the season.

Create a gifting game plan

Write down everyone who’s made your list—naughty or nice—along with ideas for each person. Then, create a rough estimate of how much you can afford and think of ways to stick to your budget. You’ll also want to set aside enough time for shopping, wrapping, and mailing.

 Avoid party overload

Swamped by invitations? Prioritize! Write all the events you’re invited to on a calendar, and circle the ones that are most important to you. Don’t feel guilty if you can’t attend them all.

 Organize your decorations

Decking the halls can be merry for some—and miserable for others. When you store your decorations, think about what you’ll need for next year, and organize your decorations by type or by where you display them. Keep the decorations you hang first most accessible.

Simplify your dinner party

Write down exactly what you’ll be cooking and how many people will be attending. Make a grocery list, and determine what can be made in advance, and what you’ll need to prepare the day of. Don’t be afraid to ask your guests to bring a dish to pass or a bottle of wine.

 Share the holidays

If you don’t have many people with whom you can share the holidays, there are plenty of options for keeping busy and feeling merry. Consider volunteering at a toy drive or a soup kitchen. Or, enjoy some alone time and curl up solo with hot chocolate and a favorite book or movie.

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