Christmas Stress and the Power of Planning

As November and December come around thoughts of family and friends being to fill your thoughts as you look forward to all the wonderful things that normally come along with the holiday season. My family and I always starting making handmade decorations, my dad untangled lights, my mom did lots of cooking. We made Reindeer food. School was filled with activities.

You would think with the beauty of this holiday that it would be a time of reflection, a time to sit in front of a crackling fire and drink hot cocoa and snuggle beneath a thick, fluffy throw – but that’s usually the scene on a Christmas card rather than reality.

Very Stressful and Happy Times of the Year

Reality is we’re the ones behind the scene dragging in the firewood, lighting the fire, shopping for the cocoa ingredients, unpacking the Christmas throws from the attic, airing them out, giving them a wash…well, you get the picture. Full Disclosure – I have never once lit a fire in Texas, I live in the part that gets no snow 🙂

We’re busy enough already and life becomes even more hectic than usual when the holidays arrive. Thanks to all of the ins and outs that need to be completed, we tend to overexert ourselves and the ho ho ho can quickly become bah humbug!

With all of the activities that center around the Christmas holiday, you need a plan to keep your stress level down (as well as keep your sanity intact). You may still be working at your day job, dealing with childcare issues now that the kids are on holiday break and fretting about getting the house cleaned for upcoming relatives as well as providing food and other comforts.

We’ve all seen the touching commercials, the Christmas movies guaranteed to bring a lump to your throat. We’ve been captured by the beauty in snow covered Christmas scenes, we’ve gawked at Christmas displays and felt that funny little catch in our hearts as we ponder what our friends and family mean to us in the season of giving.

As a result of all the glitz and sparkles, all the perfect Christmas scenes and shows, we develop an unrealistic picture of what Christmas should be and how it should be celebrated.

Did you know that the Christmas holidays have also been called the season of stress? One of the major causes of Christmas stress is not planning the holiday in advance so that when the day draws closer, you feel caught off guard.

Get a Plan in Place

Because the Christmas holiday encompasses so many different aspects, you need a plan that will deal with each element individually so that they work together as a whole to give you a great holiday season day after day.

The season is almost upon us (can you believe how fast the year went by?) so you can’t put off planning another day. You need to get started right now. Make a list of what really must be done in order of importance and have a second column for what you’d like to get done but can live without if you don’t get around to it.

Planning involves everything from food, guests, gifts, decorating, and anything else that pops up in between!

Start Early

Year after year, we swear we’re going to get an earlier start, we’re going to plan ahead and yet each year, Christmas is the same frantic holiday complete with a breakneck pace of buying, wrapping, cooking, and parties all guaranteed to overextend our time and nerves.

For the kind of holiday you really desire to have, it takes a lot of planning for each aspect of Christmas. From choosing the gifts (and getting them wrapped) to all of the delicious meals, and the work related events, no wonder it can get stressful! Add church gatherings and special services and it’s enough to make even the jolliest person wish Christmas would hurry up and just pass.

If you’re dreading the overwhelming tasks ahead of you this holiday season, don’t despair. You can have the kind of Christmas you want without raising your blood pressure and without getting so tired you feel like you just can’t function. You just need a game plan!

For some General Planning Ideas Check out

Shopping
Decorating
Cooking
Relaxing/Enjoying

Do you find the holidays stressful at all? How do you make everything work? Please feel free to share below.

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