Four Ways to Keep Holiday Stress in Check

  1. Organize a family “purge” before Christmas. Before being inundated with new clothes, toys and gadgets, have each family member set aside a few items they don’t need or use anymore. Christmas is a great time to donate gently used toys and clothes to families in need, and the act of giving away items of their own teaches children the value of helping others in their community. It will also help make space for the holiday aftermath clutter.

  2. Set aside quality time to spend with family and friends. The week between Christmas and New Years can be a whirlwind of traveling, cooking and shopping, which can make it seem like the holidays fly by year after year. Go ahead and cross a few of those extra tasks off of your to-do list without actually doing them. It’s important to take the time to reflect on the meaning of the holiday season and cherish the memories you’re making with loved ones.

  3. Be selective about holiday traditions. If the fact that you forgot to move the Elf on the Shelf for the second day in a row is causing you anxiety, it may be time to cut back on the traditions you try to uphold year after year. Think about what traditions your family truly values and make room for only the best.

  4. Scale back on gifts this year. It’s easy to get caught up in the chaos of the holidays and feel like you need to make sure your family has plenty of gifts to open on Christmas morning. This year, consider scaling back on gifts and focusing on quality rather than quantity. Consider experience gifts and gifts that your family can enjoy together. It will help cut back on your shopping stress and serve as a reminder that sometimes, less really is more.

Teresa Palaia