Copyright Tony@tonyisme

It’s down to the wire now – what are you doing to try and keep Christmas from becoming one big stress-fest? Here are some ideas:

  1. Random acts of Christmas kindness. Still gotta hit the mall? I feel your pain. But let me tell you, I was blown away on the weekend at how many people held doors for me and my stroller – a man even walked up to me in the food court and took the empty tray from my hand. Made my day. Go with a plan to commit some small act of kindness, and I bet it will make your day, too.
  2. Let it go, let it go, let it go.  Just like the song says (more or less). Take a look at your to do list, is it all really that important? Chances are, there’s something there that you can let go, do it next year, or maybe…
  3. Save it for boxing week. (Nice segue, no?) Once again, this year, I will not get around to making Christmas ornaments for the kids’ collections.  So I’m planning to do it during Boxing Week, while Christmas is still fresh in my mind, but the pressure is off. And if you get something done this year, you’ll be de-stressing next year at the same time!
  4. Celebrate Ukranian Christmas. As kids, we always found presents hiding under the tree skirt on January 6, the day the tree came down. I have to wonder if this tradition was born when something didn’t get bought/finished/wrapped quite in time. These days, DH and I always exchange our presents on the 6th, and get to savour the moment that much more.
    Of course, if you’re not into delay-tactics you can:
  5. Cook ahead. In a day or two I’ll be roasting 4 squash.  One third of the result is going in the fridge for our Christmas dinner, the rest in the freezer as my contribution to a family dinner during boxing week. Which brings me to another idea:
  6. Outsource. Family coming for dinner? Ask everyone to bring a dish.  So easy, and so much less chaos in the Christmas Day kitchen. And even if you can’t bring your sides in from the outside, you can still:
  7. Kick them out of the kitchen. The side dishes, that is.  Got a slow cooker? Why not send a side dish to the basement? As always, Stephanie O’Dea has some great holiday recipes to help.
  8. Create a gift registry. Ok, so it’s probably a bit late for this one.  But once my sisters and I all created gift registries online, gift giving got so much easier.  We’ve found the lists help not just with making specific suggestions, but also to act as a springboard for other ideas – hints for that gift that’s a complete surprise. Lots of stores offer this service, and there are ‘generic’ lists as well (that’s what we use). I’ve been meaning to write a post with a run-down of some of the services out there.I don’t think I’m going to get to it.

    Maybe I’ll do it during boxing week, and post it next year.

How do you keep the holidays from driving you crazy?