Make this year the year that you enjoy the holidays instead of living life in a stress-filled ball of anxiety. Follow Real Simple’s tips to make this holiday season the best yet!
Often stress at the holidays comes from holiday shopping’s strain on your pocketbook. Spend less money by choosing a group gift that everyone in the household can enjoy. Or get everyone tickets to the same show, movie, or concert and wrap each person’s individually.
Buy several small, stocking stuffer type gifts, rather than one large expensive one. That way you stretch out the process of gift opening and can get gifts more tailored to the recipient’s personality.
Give your loved one an IOU certificate for something they really could use taken off their plate. Babysitting, offering to cook, do dishes, or clean the house are all good options. Just be prepared to step up to the plate when it’s time to follow through on the chore.
Does trying to capture the perfect family photo for the Christmas cards fill you with anxiety? Try putting everyone in front of the tree (just be sure to turn off the flash and take the photo in the daytime). Worried Jr. won’t cooperate when it’s time to sit on Santa’s lap? Show them pictures from your childhood of happy Mom or Dad with Santa, or watch other kids getting their photos taken. If all else fails, take comfort from the fact that the crying kid on Santa’s lap photo is always a classic.
Regifting is a great way to find a new home for objects you may have received that didn’t work out, but make sure it’s never been opened, make sure the person who gave it to you and the new recipient don’t know each other, and be sure to rewrap the new item. Also, make sure it’s something you would have gotten the new recipient anyway.