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Ten Tips for a Less Stressful Holiday Season

Updated on October 22, 2013

Taking it Down a Notch

Between the shopping and traveling and the parties, the holidays can be a very stressful time for some people. However the holidays should be celebrated and enjoyed not dreaded!

If you're one of the many people who get stressed this time of year, enjoy some of these tricks that will help you enjoy the festivities instead of dread them.

Image courtesy of scottfeldstein on Flickr.

Image by ryochiji on Creative Commons
Image by ryochiji on Creative Commons

Streamline Everything

Make it Simple

Who says you have to put up a 12 foot tree with all the trimmings? By the time you lug it out of the crawlspace and get the lights on you'll be exhausted. This year, why not downshift to a small but lovely potted live tree?

You can pick one up at a nursery and decorate it simply with a few of your favorite ornaments. It will still look festive, but you won't be worn out before the holiday even starts.

Not only that, but consider yourself an asset to the environment. You'll be the hero of the forest for not cutting down a tree, and you'll even have one to plan after the season is over.

It's Up To You

What is the most important aspect (family gathering aside) of Christmas that you couldn't do without?

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Remember What's Important

Spending time with family and enjoying each other's company is the real idea, not the stress. Remind yourself of this when your nerves are at their peak.

Image by kissyface on Flickr
Image by kissyface on Flickr

Skip the Holiday Cards

Skip the Stress

Do you really have to send your old basketball coach from high school a card? Do you even remember who half the people on your list are? If you're burdened by the guilt of not sending cards, you are hereby freed. This is a tradition that has gotten out of hand for some.

If your card list contains more than 100 names, you are a candidate for editing. Send just a few cards to a few friends you are really close to. The rest will never even notice your card is missing.

And if you're going to see folks on Christmas or for Hanukkah, you can hand them their holiday gifts and skip the mailed card.

Celebrate Without Stress - Enjoy The Season

Image by Jim Moore on Creative Commons
Image by Jim Moore on Creative Commons

Shop Early

Save Money & Stress

There is no law that says you must shop between the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. Why not shop in July or September or February? You can find everything all year so you're not going to be without presents.

And, as for that enormous gift list, whittle it down to a few co-workers or friends that are especially important to you. And don't feel guilty about it. Site the weak economy if anyone snarls at a missing Christmas gift.

Time is Ticking - What's Your Take?

How early do you shop for holiday gifts?

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Image by lu_lu on Flickr
Image by lu_lu on Flickr

Go with a Grab Bag

Keep Down Costs

Lots of families are opting for a grab bag system. Each person who wants to participate puts their name into a hat. Everyone draws a name of the one person they will buy inexpensive Christmas gifts for.

So, instead of buying 24 small presents for everyone in the family, you only have to shop for one. Set a limit of $20, $50 or whatever the family decides. And don't go over it no matter what.

Meeting Your Budget

The grab bag is a great way for everyone to save money this holiday season, and everyone still gets a gift!

Photo by AMagill on Flickr
Photo by AMagill on Flickr

Pay Cash

Not Credit

There is nothing more stressful than getting your credit card bill in January when you've blown your holiday budget (for the next 10 years) for this year's Christmas gifts.

Stave off the stress this year and limit yourself to cash only. You will be surprised how much less you spend when it has to come directly out of your cash money.

Get Past the Stress - With a Few Tips

Shop Online

Comfortable & Easy

Now that we can shop 24/7 there's absolutely no excuse for heading to the mall this holiday season. Why raise your blood pressure hunting for a parking spot when you can shop at your leisure at home. Combine purchases on sites like or

You'll save a bundle on shipping and it's easier to track your purchases when they are bundled together. Order holiday cookie gifts and have them shipped to your recipients, this not only takes care of shopping, but sending, wrapping and giving. Opt for sites that will email you coupons and use them. Often you can save $10 or more on shipping. Every penny helps.

Online Shops

What's your favorite online store to shop for gifts?

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Image courtesy of Frankie Roberto on Flickr
Image courtesy of Frankie Roberto on Flickr

Think Charity

Reach Out

Instead of focusing on yourself and how busy you are, reach out to others. Take on a Big Brother or Big Sister who has no one to talk to. Or volunteer at an animal shelter or Soup Kitchen.

Giving of your time can really make you take stock of what's important in life.

Ease Holiday Stress - Here's How

Fruit Gift Basket
Fruit Gift Basket

Eat Well

It's Essential

As if it weren't critical to eat healthy and be healthy every other day, now is the time more than ever. Parties three nights a week over the holidays can really do a number on your waistline and your well-being.

If you can, eat a very healthy but light dinner before you go. That way you won't be starving and gorge yourself. You'll eat less and feel much better having kept it semi-healthy. Oh, and don't forget that whole 8-hours-of-sleep thing, but I'm sure I don't have to remind you of that!

Do you have to bring cookies to a family or company party? Skip the chaos and purchase cookie gift baskets ahead of time. You can even have them sent out to the designated place on a specific day in the future if you decide to order them early.

Mind Your Body

Eat well, exercise, and get your rest. These three elements will be the most important key to getting through.

Original image by waffler on Flickr
Original image by waffler on Flickr

Say No Thanks

It's Okay, Really.

It's okay for you to turn down a few invitations. Especially if you feel you're about to drop. Take a few nights to just relax in a bubble bath or play holiday music. Watch your favorite TV shows and enjoy some popcorn.

You'll feel more refreshed and much more rested. Not to mention, you'll be able to take on the relatives when they arrive!

Comments Welcomed :)

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    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Wish I'd found this before Christmas, not the day after. Doesn't matter, great information, great lens.

    • profile image

      dessertlover 6 years ago

      Giving more gift cards to nieces and nephews has meant less time running around buying toys and clothes....much less stress!

    • squid-janices7 profile image

      squid-janices7 6 years ago

      Useful tips! To reduce my xmas stress, I've cut WAY back on decorating for the holidays. No more outdoor lights and decorating every inch of the interior....but we always put up a Christmas tree (because it just doesn't seem like Christmas without one).

    • MexicaliBill LM profile image

      MexicaliBill LM 7 years ago

      This doesn't fall under the money saving category, but definitely under reducing stress. I found out there are companies that will do your outdoor light decorating for you. Too expensive for my taste, but I like the idea.

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 7 years ago

      I love Christmas and I want to focus on the season not rush around buying last minute gifts. I start my Christmas shopping right after Labor Day and pick one or two gifts up ever payday. It's just days after Thanksgiving and I have my shopping done. Now I can focus on spending time with family, cooking and decorating. I love Christmas!

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