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Make this the most stress-free holiday ever

Yes, the holidays are joyful, but they can also be stressful thanks to so many demands on your time and energy. They don’t need to cause anxiety, though. Just follow our tips for a stress-free holiday.

buying christmas presents

The holiday season is all shiny and bright and happy, but there’s also a lot of pressure on everyone. With so many social functions to attend, everyone’s time is limited, and we all have endless to-do lists. But by planning well in advance, you can make this holiday season much easier on yourself.

Shop early

You’ll be very thankful for shopping now rather than three weeks from now. The crowds in the mall are not yet crushing, so the experience will be much more pleasant. Even better, if you shop online, you can avoid the malls altogether and still ensure your gifts arrive via post well in advance of Dec. 25. Plus you’ll have a better chance of scoring the hot gift of the season before it sells out (let’s not repeat having to hunt through every toy store in the city for that must-have doll your niece wants, like you’ve done in years past).

Simplify your hosting duties

Sometimes we want to be as perfect as Martha Stewart by pulling together a stunning table setting and cooking the most delicious gourmet meal, all the while making it look as if it was no skin off our back. But your friends will appreciate delectable purchased appetizers just as much, so don’t push yourself to do it all. It’s OK to not place every responsibility on your shoulders. Buy a few platters to supplement the food you do prepare, and make sure you have time to enjoy your guests by hiring some staff to help pass out hors d’oeuvres and drinks. If professional staff isn’t in your budget, see if there’s a teenager or two in the neighbourhood you can hire.

Accept that you can’t be in two places at once

There’s something about December that makes everyone want to see everyone, so invites keep popping up in the mail and in your inbox. But there are only so many places you can be without reaching a breaking point. If you try to make every party, you’ll just be too exhausted to even enjoy yourself. For the invites you have to turn down, make plans to get together in January so you still have quality time together. The beginning of the year tends to be cold and dreary anyhow, so getting together will help beat those winter blues!

More holiday articles

10 Fun gifts to give this Christmas: Ditch the gift cards!
Be prepared: Stock a gift cabinet
Green gift wrap ideas for holiday gift giving

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