All I Want For Christmas is Low Stress

It is only 11 days until Christmas and I’ve already got my best present so far: low stress.

How?  Well it comes from two main things in my experience.  First we have always been the sort of people that plan to get things done early during the holiday season.  So by Dec 1 we usually have the following already done:

  • Home is decorated and tree is up
  • 90% of presents are already bought and we are under budget
  • Family Christmas picture is taken and prints are ordered
  • Wish Lists have been finished and sent to others
  • Christmas baking recipes are picked out and ingredients are purchased

So that means that we don’t have that much we actually need to do in December itself which leaves more time to actual enjoy the holidays rather than getting freaked out trying to get everything done in a week or two.

Then the other main item we try to do is keep our amount of social engagements from getting out of hand.  For example, this week and next week we only have a handful of items on our family calendar.  This leaves us time to hang out with our kids and just have fun.  For example, last Sunday we went sledding in the morning, drank hot chocolate after,  built a snowman in the afternoon and then baked cookies with the kids.  My youngest declared it was the best day ever and honestly it didn’t take much other than some time.  We also have a few other immediate family items planned prior to Christmas like watching a movie together, playing a board game and likely some sort of excuse to consume more hot chocolate (hint there may be some reading of books involved).

I know what a novel concept: actual enjoying spending time with your family without feeling stressed about it.  That is really what I think people should focus on during the holidays.  Forget about making things to some sort of unrealistic picture perfect moment and freak out when it doesn’t happen.  Forgot your social media feed and just pour yourself an eggnog and relax already.  Do something you love and share it with someone you love.  It doesn’t have to be complex or difficult to be wonderful.

So how do you keep the holidays fun for you and your family? Any other suggestions on how to keep your stress low?

5 thoughts on “All I Want For Christmas is Low Stress”

  1. My in laws to get all gifts for my kids. This is pretty controversial, I admit. We (mom and dad) have no gifts for them because G&G always get nice and thoughtful gifts, so I just don’t try to compete. It gives the kids a special bond with their grandparents.

    Then I actually don’t decorate until “pink ” Sunday – this (third) Sunday. I find that having everything out and up makes my kids nuts and antsy. So I guess the opposite of what you do. 🙂

    And then that last week before Christmas we tend to have few engagements, so then we sing and make cookies.

  2. This year we are taking it easy. We are not decorating at all. Our 1 year old won’t notice 🙂

    We are also not hosting. We have a family member who always wants to host, and we have come to accept it, it’s now less stress for everyone.

    The best part of the holidays is to hang out with extended family and also watching our 1 year old play with her cousins.

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  3. Don’t put unrealistic expectations on yourself or others. That seems to be the biggest stressor from what I see. I love the Christmas season. I love the decorating, baking, buying gifts and socializing. I love the family gatherings….the food is always delicious and the time with them is a treasure.

  4. Good points. I am all for a low-stress Christmas! We have very young kids and the stress from having to cater to their every whim is enough. This year, apart from putting up a wreath with lights on our front door, we did away with all other decorations. Christmas day will be spent at a family-friend’s place and we plan to enjoy the rest of the holidays just hanging out with the kids.

  5. Tim, this time of year has always been low-stress. I was born Jewish but have been an atheist for the last 41 years, so I went from something which didn’t give a damn about Xmas to something else which didn’t give a damn about Xmas. Other than the endless playing of holiday songs all the time, this time of year is pretty easy and stress-free. Just call me Scrooge!

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