1.) Make a List and Start Early
Write down everyone you plan to buy a gift for, no matter how small the gift may be. Include ideas of what to give each person, along with the maximum amount you’re willing to spend. Don’t forget to list the people who will receive holiday tips, such as your doorman, babysitter, and mail carrier. This will help you manage your holiday budget.
2.) Don’t do it all yourself:
Involve every member of the family right down to the toddlers. If you can’t do it together, then maybe it’s not something you need to do at all. Turn decorating, shopping, gift-wrapping, baking, and even house cleaning into family-time activities.
3.) Limit Outings
There are the things you absolutely must do, such as attend your daughter’s holiday recital or the preschool class party. Add to those the adult-oriented festivities; it’s time to whittle down the list and set limits. Decide in advance just how many parties or other events you can handle, and give the green light to the first four invitations to arrive. Then politely but firmly refuse the rest.
4.) Resist the urge to be Martha Stewart.
If you feel that holiday décor is a must, make an impact simply. Buy a fake tree (the current crop is amazingly lifelike) with prestrung lights for yearly reuse. Choose wreaths made of pinecones for a longer shelf life. And if you’re committed to bringing home a six-foot spruce, drape it with a simple red ribbon and add tiny white lights and red Christmas balls. It will be a design statement worthy of Martha herself, with half the fuss. Above all, stop torturing yourself.
5.) Give yourself a time-out.
Take an invigorating walk or spring for a sitter and take an afternoon off. You’ll appreciate it and feel reenergized. Don’t ignore the basics – get enough sleep and eat food that leaves you feeling good, not bloated and sluggish.