8 Ways To Avoid Christmas Stress
This blog post has been written by Britney from The Drunk Runner.
You’re probably thinking that I’m drunk right now and that I don’t realize that it’s not Christmas time. Well, you’re not entirely wrong, but I do have a method to my madness. I’ve been spending this past month planning Christmas. Why? Because I wanted to avoid Christmas stress.
I love Christmas. I love the music and the food, I love the happy children and the uplifting moods, and I love the feeling that you get when it’s ‘Christmas Time’. Sometimes ‘Christmas Time’ happens really early in the year for me. I get that feeling and I feel at peace, but then that amazing feelings disappears and sometimes it doesn’t come back in time for Christmas. I have found a way to keep that special Christmas feeling by following my 8 ways to avoid Christmas stress. The holidays are so much easier with the Christmas stress gone and it’s easier to enjoy the time spent with my family.
So what’s my trick? It’s really easy!
Ok, fine, that’s not the answer. The answer is to start planning Christmas early so you have time to spend time with your family, enjoy the holiday parties and have a few cocktails with friends.
Christmas Stress and The 8 Ways To Avoid It:
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Here are the steps I take to reduce Christmas stress. Some of them are common sense, yet it’s still something I tend to forget when it’s all at once.
- Start shopping NOW! Actually, you probably should have started about a month ago. Figure out WHAT you’re buying. Don’t walk into the shopping mall or department store without knowing what you’re getting and who you’re getting it for. You’ll end up spending so much more than you intended to and, chances that you’ll be unhappy with the gifts that you’ve come home with.
- Do your shopping online. You’ll actually spend less cause you’ll buy what you intended on buying and not grab all of the items that were on sale beside the item that you were shopping for. Remember to search online for coupon codes before checking out. Even finding a coupon for free shipping can save you a lot of money.
- Keep track of what you have purchased. If you’re anything like me, you want to have an even amount of gifts under the tree for your kids. Keep a list of what you have already bought and who you have bought it for. This eliminates the ‘Oh crap, I forgot I bought this’ frenzy that happens while you’re wrapping. This, too, will save you money because you won’t forget that you’ve already bought gifts.
- Plan your meals in advance. Start a Pinterest board called Christmas Meals and start pinning ideas. Figure out exactly how many meals you will need to make and for how many people. Find your recipes and actually read the cooking instructions. Chances are you don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen for every meal, so find recipes that aren’t time-consuming.
- Make a list of ingredients based on the recipes that you are making. Store this in your phone. If you don’t use a grocery list app, simply use your phone to take a picture of your written list so you have it with you at all times. When it’s time to do the Christmas food shopping, you’re ready!
- Start your Christmas baking early. Cookies actually freeze very well. Wrapping the cookies in freezer paper and then placing them in a freezer bag or container keeps them nice and fresh. Having a few dozen cookies already ready to go is extremely handy when you’re asked to donate for the Christmas Concert, or when you’ve been invited over for a Christmas get-together. Here are a few suggestions: Biscotti Munch, Whipped Shortbread, Egg Nog Cookies, Rugelach.
- Start buying your alcohol now. Hosting Christmas can become very expensive, especially if you’re supplying the wine and alcohol. Set aside $40 from each paycheck and head to the liquor store to buy a bottle or rum and couple bottles of wine. You’ll be thankful that this massive cost was spread out over a couple of months instead of all at once right before Christmas.
- Use your talents to make your own gifts! This might not actually add to the stress-free part of things if you haven’t started this early enough, but a gift that is homemade has to be appreciated (like these homemade lavender bath salts). If it’s not, punch the recipient in the throat, steal their wine, and remove them from your life. Seriously, though, you can also save a lot of money by not having to buy gifts. If you can knit or crochet, make scarves. If you make your own soaps, gift them. If you make your own wine, give that as gifts! If your cat drinks too much wine, give her away to someone else! I’m kidding Penelope, you can stay.
Start these things now and enjoy the holidays without Christmas stress.
For more wild antics and helpful advice visit Britney’s blog, The Drunk Runner.