Five Ways to Make Your Holidays Stress Free
You’re not alone if you wish the holidays were less stressful and more meaningful. Nine out of 10 Americans believe that the season should be more about family and caring for others and less about gifts, according to the nonprofit Center for a New American Dream. Here are five ways to reduce the stress and add meaning to your holidays:
- Have a budget for each holiday expense. Decide how much you can spend on gifts, decorations, a special meal, and other items, and stick to your limit. This will help you avoid overspending, a major source of holiday stress.
- Buy a group or family gift. Spend less time shopping and wrapping packages by choosing gift that an entire household can enjoy instead of buying for each member. Consider a great board game, tickets to an event, or equipment for a sport or activity a family loves, such as binoculars that campers can use for nature-watching.
- Have a potluck buffet. Low-key entertaining is less work and more fun. Make a list of things you’d like people to bring, have it ready when you invite them, and confirm what food they’re contributing by phone or email a week or two before the event.
- Enjoy free holiday events. Check your community newspaper or website for no-cost celebrations such as concerts, plays, or readings in your community and plan to attend a few with relatives or friends.
- Be prepared for the holiday travel rush. Check to be sure your flight or train is on time before you depart for a trip or to pick up a visitor. If you are traveling by car, try to avoid peak holiday traveling hours. Bring snacks, music, reading, and games with you to keep your mind off travel hassles and delays.