Jess’s How To…Reduce Stress During the Holidays

English: A bauble on a Christmas tree.

Photo credit: Wikipedia

No matter what you celebrate this time of year, at some point you will probably want to curl up into a ball, stuff your cheeks full of turkey and hibernate until the New Year.  Because most of us can’t actually get away with that (without being deemed a ‘bit off our rockers’), let’s remember a few very simple ways to reduce stress and enjoy the holiday season and all it has to offer.

1.    Cleaning. This is true any day of the week, any time of the year, but most specifically around holidays.  We put so much emphasis on having a spotless home, we forget that people don’t actually have super-human eye-sight allowing them to see every last speck of dust on the wood floors. Solution: Hire a service to clean your house.  You can relax, let them do their job and enjoy the smell of fresh pine throughout your home.  Because this is an awesome solution for you, imagine what a fantastic gift this would be for someone else as well!

2.    Shopping for gifts. Some of us LOVE giving gifts but those same people don’t necessarily love the crowds around the holidays.  Try to get your shopping done before or immediately following Thanksgiving.  Being able to check the gifts off of your list will help you relax a bit more as we close in on the holidays and will also give you time to remember why you are giving the gift in the first place.

3.    Cooking.  A recent post talked about how to avoid weight gain during the holidays.  But let’s face it, there are so many occasions that require desserts it’s unreal… and our waistlines agree.  But cookies are such an easy host gift, party supply and more.  Check this out: make a bunch of cookie dough in, say, November. Ball it up, stick it in the freezer, and boom! The minute you have a cookie occasion spring up, you’ll be prepared. No more stressing about making it to the grocery store or worrying that someone might be able to detect the cookies are not actually homemade.

4.    Surprise visits/emergency gifts. We all have one- the oh-so-super-nice neighbor who pops in with a 3-tiered goodie basket filled with homemade fudge, cookies of perfection and hot cocoa with little tiny Christmas tree marshmallows inside.  How can you shine in the face of THIS? Simple. December 26th-31st are the absolute BEST times to get holiday-themed gifts for next to nothing. Christmas kitchen towels, Candy Cane scented Candles, stockings, tree skirts, ornaments, frame, yadda yadda yadda. These are typically 75-90% off immediately following Christmas. STOCK UP. Put them away in your Christmas decorations until next year. Yes, you read that right. You will be prepared A YEAR IN ADVANCE.

If all of these seem to be a bit too much or really just not up your alley of “de-stressing” perhaps it’s time to stock up on some eggnog, commit to the holidays and spread some cheer of your own.  Though, how can you go wrong with pre-planned, ready to gnosh frozen cookie dough balls?

Jessica Brandenburg

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