How to Reduce the Stress of the Holidays

05 Dec 2013 2:25 PM | Julie Riber, CPO®
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Twenty-some days left to shop for Christmas. That sounds pretty stressful for many. On top of that, because Thanksgiving fell later this year, we lost a week of preparing for the Christmas season.

Start your Christmas cards as soon as possible and have the older kids help with the stamps and return labels

Now is the best time to have your children go through all their toys and get rid of broken toys, donate or sell those toys they feel they are too old for. Encourage them to really think about donating at this time of the year. Teaching them early to go through their toys once or twice a year keeps them organized and eliminates the clutter from your home.

You can still make shopping fun with friends and family. Plan a day out and take your list with you. If you do have to mail any gifts, get those done first. Arrange your list by importance and work down.

If you decorate, bake, shop and entertain all in the month of December, you will need a plan. Making a day to day plan is the best way to relieve some stress. Plan your days of shopping first. Even those that work outside the home should plan their shopping and baking days. If you bake cookies, bake those you can freeze first. This allows you to keep them fresh, but do many in advance. Wrap presents as you purchase them rather than waiting until the day before Christmas to do all the wrapping.

Decorating can also be broken down into steps. Try decorating outside first, and the inside your home. For outside, put the lights up first, then add the wreaths, bows, and other accessories. Make sure you test all lights prior to putting them up outside and inside.

Break the inside down into floors, decorations and fresh greenery. Even the tree can be done in steps such as lights and ornaments. Start now to make those plans and have a stress free holiday season.