3 Ways To Avoid Holiday Stress

Is it seriously Christmastime again?! Don't get me wrong, I absolutely adore the Christmas season and everything it brings. Including the chaos. Decorating, buying presents, trying to get that punch recipe just right, and remembering the reason for the season makes December fly by in a flurry of ornaments, lights and hot chocolate-filled nights. I can't say that I love any time of the year more than Christmastime. However, I have noticed that downtime in the insanity-ridden season is critical to actually enjoying the season. The following are three ways that I've found are particularly useful in trying to enjoy the Christmastime rush.

Start your Christmas shopping early. 

Seriously, don't be the person that waits until Christmas Eve (ahem, husband of mine :P)

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I remember growing up that my mom would start Christmas shopping in early summer, if not earlier. I used to think that was crazy...till I started having to buy presents for more than just mom, dad, and little sister. Seriously, hit the stores and/or online before everyone starts losing their minds and shopping turns into an expedition to the Serengeti...you know what I mean. People are hurdling display racks like antelope, and you are just trying not to get eaten by the ravenous parents desperate to get their hands on the latest Elsa and Anna Frozen DOLLS. My mama had it right. Shop early. Finish early. Sit back on your cough while everyone else tries to kill each other in the stores.

Plan for next year, this year. 

Planning makes all the difference.

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This mostly pertains to decorations (at least for me), but it really helps tone down the Christmastime crazies. Every year, when my husband and I are packing up the decorations, we make sure to put them away, so they come out downtime the next year. For example, we wind the lights neatly, pack ornaments in special cases, wrap breakable objects in paper, etc. I'm telling you, it makes decorating the next year that much better--you don't have to fret about unwinding Christmas lights for three hours. Trust me; it's a lifesaver.

Just sit. 

No seriously, just sit there.

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Part of Christmas fun is the constant on-the-go attitude. But for me, my favorite memories revolve around the quiet times--the times I purposefully set aside to be still. There is nothing better than grabbing your five favorite blankies, making some hot chocolate and curling up in your spouse's arms to stare at the Christmas tree. I guess what I'm saying is that you have to purposefully not lose your mind during Christmas. Acknowledge the fact that you're going to get overwhelmed, overexcited and a little crazy but don't let those things rule you this Christmas season. Set fifteen minutes aside and be thankful for all the craziness in your life, trust me, I certainly will.

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