Happier Holidays – Part 4 (12/2/22)

We’re almost there! Here are my last few ideas to help you create stress-free holidays.

Gift 8: Think carefully before you get “carried away” with holiday enthusiasm. Many years ago a dear friend invited me to a “cookie exchange.” In theory I would come home from this holiday party with a variety of 12 dozen delicious homemade cookies. I could serve them throughout the holidays, thus greatly simplifying my life while I impressed family and friends. The reality, which I didn’t realize until I accepted the invitation, was that in order to BRING HOME 12 dozen cookies, I had to BAKE 12 dozen cookies. There are two things you should know about me: I don’t enjoy baking and I don’t like cookies. I kept my commitment, enjoyed the party and brought home 12 dozen delicious cookies. Les and our three kids were delighted. And they were very disappointed that I never participated again. So think carefully before you commit to a holiday task, chore or event that is more than you bargained for. “Theory” rarely equals “Reality”!

Gift 9: Make time for joy. “Christmas is just for kids,” or so the saying goes. But I believe there’s “a little kid” in each of us. So indulge yourself! Drive around to look at lights and decorations, watch a favorite holiday show, listen to music, call a friend to catch up, send out holiday cards, texts or emails … whatever makes you feel “Christmassy” inside. (I “practice what I preach” … so as you read this I am in Natchez Mississippi this weekend treating myself to a tour of homes decorated for the holidays.)

In this series I’ve shared ideas to help you relieve your holiday stress. We all know at least one person who may wonder why anyone would need such ideas. Of course we know that the person entertaining this thought is not the one who decorates, buys, wraps, addresses, mails, shops, prepares, cooks, bakes, calls, invites, serves, and cleans up. If you are that person, I hope these ideas have helped. In my next post on December 16 I’ll give you “the short list” of ideas I’ve shared over the past weeks. Print it out, keep it handy, and look at it as often as necessary! The tips for creating a stress-free holiday can also be used to create a stress-free life!


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