1. A Stress-free Way to Preparing for the Holidays!

    You have probably noticed that major retailers are already setting up for the holiday season! Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations are making their way into the aisles of many of your favorite shopping stores.  It won’t be long until you begin ‘making your list and checking it twice’ in preparation of the onset of holiday festivities. Christmas is less than 65 days away!

    For many folks, the holidays can cause undue stress and anxiety. There are presents to be purchased, pies to be baked and cards to be mailed. It can be a little overwhelming at times! Here are seven tips to help you prepare for the upcoming holiday season, stress-free.

    1. Start early! Don’t wait until the last minute to get started. If you prepare well in advance, by the time the holiday’s roll around you will have all your major tasks completed and you can sit back and enjoy the beauty of the season!
    2. Create a ‘to do’ list of everything you need to accomplish. Once you have this created, prioritize and break that list down into ‘bite size’ nuggets. This makes all your tasks much more manageable.
    3. Delegate, delegate, delegate. Assign specific tasks and projects to family members. Ask your children to address holiday cards and your husband to schlepp the ornaments and decorations down from the attic. In other words, if there is a task that you don’t have time to do, outsource it!
    4. Remember – gift cards are your friend. This is an easy (and inexpensive) gift to give to your children’s teachers, your hairdresser, and the paper boy and mail man. Remember to pick up some extra gift cards just in case you receive a gift from someone you were not expecting to get.
    5. Bake your favorite holiday goodies and then store them in the freezer for later. When the holidays arrive you can enjoy spending time with your family and friends, not slaving over a hot stove or oven.
    6. Don’t feel obligated to attend every holiday party, gathering, or event that you are invited to. Make sure you have some self-appointed ‘down time’.  If you can’t make it to your neighbor’s ‘cookie exchange’ this year, that is ok.
    7.  Take advantage of on-line shopping. Most of us do not enjoy the traffic, long lines and short tempers that are often synonymous with holiday shopping. Many of your purchases can be made quickly and easily in the comfort of your own home. In addition, you can shop at any time that suits you!

    Finally, remember to slow down and enjoy the next few months. With the proper planning and preparation there is no need to be stressed out or anxious.