Monday, November 21, 2011

5 Ways to have a Less Stressful Christmas

I don't mean to just rush into Christmas stuff and ignore the fact that Thanksgiving is just a few days away (Yay!)...but in order to have a less stressful Christmas the preparations should start very soon.

Did you know the #1 stress around Christmas time is financial burdens? Buying Christmas presents is one of the things I enjoy most but also stress about the most. The other day I calculated how many people my husband buy gifts for and the total came to about 20 family members (luckily we don't typically buy for friends...sorry guys :) Although my husband does get a small Christmas bonus, the cost of our flights home eat up the majority of it, leaving less than I would like for presents. Which is why I decided it's time to make some changes so Christmas can be more enjoyable.

A couple of weeks ago I was able to attend a church activity where we talked about different things you can do around the holidays to make it a less stressful time of year. Here are a few tips that I think will be most beneficial...

1. Make a gift list - Write down everyone you need to buy gifts for, what you intend the buy them, and how much you are willing  able to spend (you will probably need to do a little pricing research). This way, when you go out shopping, you have a specific item in mind and you won't resort to buying something more expensive just because your tired of shopping.

2. Create a "Christmas Activities" calendar - I don't know about you, but I have so many small traditions that I like to do before Christmas rolls around and everything seems to get forgotten until it's too late. To avoid this, write down everything you would like to do and figure out the best day to schedule your activities. For example,  caroling, delivering cookies, attending the nutcracker, or watching your favorite Christmas movies. This way, you wont feel the "Christmas activities overload" when you've discovered there's just not enough time to do everything you had intended.

3. Get your baking done early - Take inventory of the traditional cookies you like to make around Christmas time. I bet most of them can be baked and frozen until it's time to start munching!

4. Get Creative - If gift giving is something that currently seems out of the question (due to finances) get creative with handmade gifts! There are so many different DIY gift ideas and tutorials online right now that can really save you a lot of money. If your not up for crafting, consider baking some yummy treats, or even giving service (my dad would appreciate me listing that last one!).

5. Start Now! I use to think it was a crime to start doing Christmas activities too early. I thought that "Black Friday" was completely ridiculous, and people shouldn't be in such a rush to get Christmas out of the way. Yet, now that I'm older and have more holiday responsibilities then just buying my brother and sister's a gift, I realize that early preparations are the best way to escape any Christmas frustration and allows me more time to spend with family and friends.

What are some ways you try to avoid holiday stress?

Photo Credit: Irish Central


  1. Thanks so much for sharing! Great tips. I was already getting stressed about the holidays, Def working on my list right now :-)


  2. These are great tips! I've been trying to get a lot of shopping done early, and I also have tried to do more DIY things this year to help with the cost of presents - it sure does add up! And for the first time this year I made a list of all of the Christmas activities I want us to do! It's quite long so I'm glad I wrote it all down ha!

  3. love these....I have never ever ever done shopping before Thanksgiving...however last week we crossed off 13 of the 15 people we buy gift for...amazing the stress that was lifted away to know that is done!

  4. Great idea! My husband's family elected to do a gift exchange this year, so we drew names and are each buying only one gift (we'll still all buy gifts for the kids tho). This way we can spend a bit more and put a lot of thought into the few gifts we have to buy and hopefully it will put the focus back on spending time together instead of gift giving/getting.

    Love the idea of making a list for Christmas activities - I always run out of time!

  5. Andrea we stopped giving adults bought presents years ago and instead make a donation to a charity on behalf of the person. Then we sit around the Christmas Tree on Christmas morning and share about each of the charities. It is such a nice tradition and the kids learn so much from it. We are allowed to give other gifts but only if we make them.

  6. Great tips! I love all of your ideas and practice some already. Some I will add to my plan of action. One thing that I always did (especially when the kids were young) is make a household rule-no Christmas parties/functions after December 18th. If you have it as a family rule, it makes it easy to let people know that when you rsvp. I hated being out every other night the week before Christmas, it just made things so stressful. Having an entire week at home with the whole family together to enjoy all the beautiful decorations, baking, without the hustle and bustle made all the difference. Now my kids are all in college so it isn't as much of an issue as when they lived at home.


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