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Beating The Holiday Stress

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Christmas and Stress

Well, I have to confess, I am stressed out! Why? The holidays! Why is it that you have to do so much in such little time and try to make everything perfect. As of today, I am declaring war on my holiday stress. This is going to be the year that I am going to have a smile on my face the entire holiday season. If you are thinking "easier said then done", just read on, you have to resolve to be stress-free. [an error occurred while processing this directive]

Why try to make everything perfect? It isn't going to be perfect no matter how hard you try. The perfect celebrations you see in magazines are not real life! They are just snap shots of fleeting moments. When the cameras leave you would see a whole different picture. Martha may be able to do it all, but she has a staff to help. If you don't have a full time staff, forget the "do it all, and do it all home-made" attitude.

The Perfect Gift
If you are racking your brain trying to find a perfect gift for someone, give up! If it is that hard to come up with something, chances are, there isn't a perfect gift, so why beat yourself up about it! Buy them a gift certificate and let them decide what is perfect. Gift certificates save time and aggravation of wrapping too.

The Perfectly Clean House
My house is a mess! But you know what? It always is, so why should the holidays be any different. There are piles of papers to be gone through, cob webs to exterminate, and dirt under the couch. If you know you aren't going to have time to go through the pile of papers, put them in a bag in a closet and deal with it after the holiday. I am going to clean, but I am not going to worry about under the couch. Why would my guests look under the couch? Will yours?

The Perfectly Decorated House
Are you trying to compete with your neighbors for the most wonderfully decorated house on the block? Why? Enjoy all the energy they spent decorating their house, heck, even thank them. When you sit in your house and look at the window, you will see their decorations, chances are you will not see your own. So invite your perfect neighbors over to your house so they can get a good view of their decorations. (That is if they have time because they are stressed out trying to decorate) Just do the minimum! Put out one strand of lights, when my family goes by your house, we will still yell, "Christmas Lights! Christmas Lights!!"

The Perfect Party
Relax! Your guests will have a better time if you are relaxed. If you are stressed they will sense it and feel stressed themselves. Think about it, a perfect party depends on your guests, something that is out of your control, so stop stressing about it. You are providing the atmosphere and food. Put some calming music on, have some good food and drink available and let it flow. By the way, good food does not necessarily equal home-made. Stores have great food that is available for just a few pennies more than the ingredients to make it yourself. Spend the few pennies more as a gift to yourself. You deserve it.

The Perfect Family Traditions
If your family is like mine, we try to fit all these traditions into a couple of weeks. These traditions, take time and add stress. Every year, we go out one night and drive around to look at Christmas lights. If you have time before Christmas, do it! If you don't have the time, do it the week after Christmas, they will still be there. If you have too many traditions to fit into the short time, hold a family meeting and decide which are the most important. Do those and forget the rest! The children will be much happier if you aren't dragging them around, saying "Hurry, hurry! On to the next thing!"

Have a happy, joyous, holiday season. Kick back and enjoy it. The kids will have fonder memories of Christmas time if they have a Mom and Dad that aren't pulling their hair out.

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