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How I’m Trying to Keep My Holiday Stress in Check (and it’s not easy)


The holidays.  It’s my favorite time of year.

Tree lights, Hallmark movies, festive decorations and family traditions.  I love it all!  But sometimes getting everything done and making things extra special takes a lot of work, and most definitely takes a toll on me.

However this year is a little different.  I will be getting foot surgery on December 18th and will be completely off my feet for a while.  Yes…that in itself is freaking me out!  No driving, no cooking, no nothing.  That said, my goal for the next few weeks is to have all of my presents bought and wrapped, cookies baked, decorations up and cards out all by December 16th.

To get all of this done, I thought I would share a few things I’ve been doing to take a little stress off of me in this race to the finish deadline.

Shop Early.  Honestly, I’ve been shopping since mid-October and I’m loving it!  Not only am I getting gifts I love, I am choosing things that could be personalized for that extra special touch.  Plus, I’ve been keeping an eye out and waiting for sales just because I have the time.

Set Mini Timeline Goals and Plan. Each weekend I am doing a little more to get everything done.  I’ve planned everything out and made sure that each item on my list gets the time needed to be completed.

Create a Gift Spreadsheet or Tracker.  For years I’ve been documenting my gifts on a plain Excel spreadsheet.  In the beginning of the season I type each person’ name and spread them out on the document.  Each time I purchase a gift, I add it under the person’s name.  This totally takes the guessing game out of who still needs a gift and who doesn’t.

Simple is Better.  This year my daughter gave me the ok not to put all of our decorations out.  One, it will be impossible for me to take them down in January with a cast and scooter.  And two, we will be spending most of the holidays at J’s house, so what’s the point?

Roll With It.  Easier said than done and I have glimpses of complete anxiety, but I am REALLY trying to go with the flow and enjoy every moment.  Last weekend we took an impromptu weekend trip after Thanksgiving.  Normally all of my decorations would have been up, but since I was away, it didn’t happen.  It STILL hasn’t happened and it’s driving me a little nuts.  But the time away and hours spent with J far outweigh a tree up a few days earlier.

I know these tips aren’t groundbreaking or monumental, but they are helping me manage the hustle and bustle of an already crazy month. What are you doing to make your December a little more calm and bright?

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