Ways to Stress Less and Enjoy Christmas More

When I look at the calendar and count the days until Christmas, I get anxious. Maybe this happens to you, too. As Christmas approaches, here are some tips to stress less and enjoy more.

  • Shop locally at unique stores and soak in the holiday atmosphere. If you can’t find anything or don’t enjoy the crowds, give a coupon for babysitting or chores such as organizing. Or choose to give the gift of money so the recipient can pick out their own present.
  • If the thought of writing and addressing cards overwhelms you, consider these three options. It’s becoming more popular to send colorful, animated e-cards which let the recipient know you’re thinking about them. And isn’t that what’s important? If you prefer mailing cards, consider buying address labels. After downloading the template, type addresses and print them out. Next year, update the addresses and you’re good to go. If you’re crunched for time but still want to send out cards, do so in January. I have friends who do this, and I tend to appreciate January cards more since they stand out.
  • Need to clean? In my opinion, “clean” should be a four-letter word. This year when my husband asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I told him a cleaning session. Lori had my house shining and ready for guests. She also shared tips such as the wonderful E-cloth for windows and making a clear shower door shine. (Contact me for more details.)
  • Meal preparation is stressful and grocery shopping, especially during holidays, can get crazy busy. Shop at a store that allows you to order online and then simply pick them up. There’s a learning curve, but in the end, it saves a lot of time.
  • Instead of a seven-course meal, opt for something you can pick up from a favorite deli, grocery store, restaurant, Costco or Sam’s Club. Concentrate on the conversation instead of a fancy charcuterie board. Your guests will be glad to see you’re relaxed and enjoying yourself.
  • If you don’t feel like baking cookies, support area cookie walks. The Dells’ Trinity church has one on Saturday, December. 9, 9:00-1:00, and the Eastern Star Cookie Walk at the Dells’ Masonic Temple, 815 Oak Street, is on December 16, 11:00-1:00.
  • Wrapping gifts can be fun if you enlist a helper, have Christmas music playing in the background, and have something to sip: a cup of hot cocoa, peppermint schnapps, or something even stronger. So what if your bows look crooked?

This December devote time for yourself. What did you love to do as a child during this time of year? Was it to visit a tree farm where you could hike out and pick out the perfect tree? Was it the fun of decorating the tree, hanging ornaments that had stories of their own? Was it driving around to see the neighborhood holiday decorations? Was it watching a Christmas movie like “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” or a classic like “It’s a Wonderful Life?”  Was it attending a magical church service such as one I participated in where the outside spotlights caught gently falling snowflakes while we held our lit candles and sang “Silent Night?” 

Prioritize yourself. Savor the season’s joy, wonder, and magic.

2 Replies to “Ways to Stress Less and Enjoy Christmas More”

Great suggestions, Amy. I laughed out loud on the last one that ended with crooked bows! I will try to follow some of your advice and keep the stress to a minimum. 👍

Hi Gayle,
This column was inspired when a friend said she’d planned a family gathering but she’d never gotten to visit because she was too busy in the kitchen. I’ve been there, and I know you have too. We have to rethink our priorities.
Thanks for reading,

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