The holiday season can be stressful!
For most of us, life gets busier and costlier during the holiday season. The holidays can make some people depressed when they think of how the special day won't be shared with lost or absent loved ones. For others, the to-do list has gotten twice as long. And you may be spending more money than you want or are able, due to traveling or entertaining. And while there is a lot of pressure to make sure everyone's Christmas is perfect, it's the simple pleasures of the season that can remind you of the joy and wonder of Christmas and its traditions.
I invite you to share in the simple pleasures of the season by beginning with gratitude (look at all of the good you have in your life); set a budget (know exactly how much you are going to spend); buy gifts mindfully (don't purchase a gift for the sake of having something to give); plan something together as a family; visit shut-ins; send a letter or gift to a soldier (imagine being in Iraq, away from loved ones and the comfort of home). Reach out to someone lonely, enjoy each person's joy of giving and receiving, and, by all means, make Christmas day last.
Listed below are resources to assist in living a stress-free holiday season.
The Chew: a Year of Celebrations: Festive and Delicious Recipes for Every Occasion
Saving Dinner for the Holidays: Menus, Recipes, Shopping Lists, and Timelines for Spectacular, Stress-Free Holidays and Family Celebrations
Dinner with the Smileys: One Military Family, One Year of Heroes, and Lessons for a Lifetime
Holidays: Recipes, Gifts and Decorations: Thanksgiving & Christmas: The Best of Martha Stewart Living
When Holidays Hurt
Creating the Happiest of Holidays
Light and Healthy Holidays Six-Week Holiday Devotional
Debt-Proof Your Christmas: Celebrating the Holidays without Breaking the Bank
"Why the Holidays Don’t Make Everyone Feel So Jolly"
"Stress, Depression, and the Holidays: Tips for Coping"