Christmas Doesn't Have to be Stressful

Christmas can be a very stressful time of year. There's family coming from all over to eat at your house and it's a mess. Decorations to put up, Christmas events to attend. Work parties, children's parties and pageants not to mention shopping, wrapping, cooking, and normal house and work duties.

It's no wonder so many people run around at Christmas time with their heads spinning! If the preceding weren't enough there's the budget. How can you stay on budget if you haven't had extra money to plan for it this year? With gas prices escalating, housing prices soaring and general bills reaching their breaking point, how can you survive?

With planning! Even if you aren't much of a planner, you can train yourself to be one! It will take a bit of work, but you can make Christmas the most wonderful time of year again!

Here are a few thoughts to ponder and plan with:

This Christmas shopping plan is one I have used for a long time. Growing up poor and with a lot of brothers and sisters, Christmas and birthday shopping was hard. When some of my brothers and sisters were old enough to get married and have children and I was still single with one salary, it became a nightmare!

When suggestions of a gift exchange or drawing names didn't work I only had one option, think outside of the box and definitely get things on sale! Here's what I did.

I listened all year long to what people wanted and heard about what they favored and would jot it down. After Christmas (the day after) I would head to the stores (I hate shopping too, so don't use that as an excuse to avoid it). Believe it or not there weren't a lot of crowds out there but the sales were!

Last year, I went into a store that had 75% off all Christmas items. Their Christmas items included just about everything in the store even those items that weren't Christmas related.

I started walking through the isle and 10 Christmas Carts later I was at the register. What did I get? Just about everything! Things like a huge, ornate Cherry wood music box with various discs that could be played. It had what I would call a see through player piano type front with a carousel that moved with horses inside.

In fact, when I walked out of the store, I filled an entire flat bed (Toyota) truck and the entire inside (it had a small backseat that could fit passengers - fold out seats, not a full back) with gifts. What was the total cost? $383.56!

A year later I still have gifts for this upcoming Christmas and birthdays and they aren't horrible cheap gifts as you can see by just the one example above. That cost for the music box alone (had I purchased it for the sticker price) was $198.00!

Here are some other Christmas or any Holiday Stress Busters

  1. Forget trying to lose weight during the holidays in order to wow people at partys! There is already enough stress, don't add a diet to it all. Diets don't really work anyway, they set you up to gain more weight later. Do portion control and eat just a little of the items you like when you want them and you won't add as many extra pounds.
  2. Shop ahead of time. If you can do it the year before like I did, great! If not, try to shop in September or October and defintely don't shop on the weekends when everyone else is out there as well. Shop during the weekdays (take an extra long lunch if you are allowed. Get a family member or well trusted friend to watch the kids and take a day on the town.) Going on the weekday's, prior to kids getting out for the holidays, will mean less traffic in the stores.
  3. Take plenty of candlelit bubble baths during the season. If you have children, get your partner to watch the kids so they aren't knocking at the door.
  4. Make sure to get a gift for yourself and place it under the tree for Christmas morning.
  5. Whatever you do, don't overbook yourself! No one remembers who did the most the year before so the only thing you are doing is making yourself crazy and losing valuealbe time with your family.
  6. Get as much sleep as you can, even catnapping if you have too.
  7. Eat properly so you have the energy you need.
  8. Take your vitamins, especially vitamin B (always check with your doctor before taking any vitamins or suplliments). Make sure you know how vitamin B works. You have to take certain vitamin B's together or they won't absorb. Talk to your health care profesionaly, pharmacist or health store professional to find out more.
  9. Get some "me" time.
  10. Know your limits. There is only so much time during the day!
  11. If you are someone who sends out Christmas cards, get a jump start. The first thing to do is buy the Christmas cards a year in advance (shopping after Christmas!). Then start filling out your cards in August. Fill out two or three every weekend and by Thanksgiving, they should all be done if you have a large list. Then pop them in the mail the first week of Christmas!
  12. And finally, make sure to laugh a lot. If you don't feel like laughing, find something that will make you laugh. Laughing releases hormones in our bodies that are very healthy for us. Read the funny paper! Those who read that first thing in the morning statistics show live longer, happier lives!

Christmas With Love Hosted and Written by (unless otherwise specified) Jaci Rae.
Copyright, Jaci Rae and North Shore Records, Inc.

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