Can you believe it’s December already! Christmas is just around the corner. For many families, the Christmas season is the “most wonderful time of the year.” However, the high expectations that come along with the holidays can lead to stress, depression or disappointment. With so many things needing to get done in order to spread the holiday cheer, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Here are a few things you can do to keep yourself feeling merry and mellow this Christmas.
Get Started Early
It’s never too early to start getting ready for next Christmas. While you’re out shopping keep an eye out for festive decorations or the perfect Christmas card. Not only will this give you less to worry about during the pre-holiday rush, but buying holiday supplies off-season can also save you money. If the family Christmas festivities are going to be held at your house this year, start preparing weeks or even months ahead.
Connect with Family
The stress of the holidays is much easier to manage when you use the time to reconnect with family. Find new, fun ways to get into the holiday spirit together like decorating Christmas stockings together, or singing carols around your community. You’re family could even volunteer at a local food bank or toy drive and help spread some Christmas cheer.
Over-hype and high expectations make preparing for Christmas festivities much more stressful. If you worry yourself over having the best decorations, the most presents, or the most memorable dinner party, you could end up trying too hard (and going a little crazy). Try to keep your family more focused on family and being together than they are on decorations or presents.
Cut Down on Spending
Financial issues are one of the leading causes of stress, and Christmas can become a very costly time. Try to save money where you can so you have one less thing to worry about. Think of inexpensive or sentimental gifts that you can give, rather than something expensive from the store. The same goes for decorating. Homemade decorations for the house or tree save money, as well as provide an activity the whole family can enjoy. Stringing popcorn or making colorful construction paper chains are fun and inexpensive activities you could do.
Ask for Help
It’s very difficult to get everything done during the Christmas season and you don’t have to go it alone. Ask your family to help. All of the stress-inducing chores you need to take care of can become fun family activities. Not only will this make things much easier, but your family is sure to cherish Christmas all the more if everyone helped make it happen together.
If you feel anxious when Christmas is a few weeks (or even months) away, you’re not alone. Many people consider the Christmas holidays to be the most stressful time of the year. But, as long as you avoid the over-hype and encourage your family to have realistic expectations, everybody in your family should have a peaceful and merry Christmas.