Simplify the holidays? Is it even possible? The short answer is yes. Here are five ways to help you relax this holiday season.
1. Focus on the present. Instead of stressing about the holidays, worrying about the future and fretting about the past, find peace and joy by focusing on the present.
2. Before the decorations go up in stores and around town, consider what is most important to you and create the holiday you want. Pressures from various sides of the family pull us in all directions off our centers. When you and your spouse or partner make clear decisions about how you want to spend your time and resources for a particular holiday, the holiday becomes much more enjoyable. If there’s an annual event no one enjoys, you don’t have to go. A simple RSVP with a polite no and thank you is perfectly acceptable.
3. Sometimes less shopping means more. Getting elbowed in the mad rush at the stores can drain the joy right out of the holiday season.Studies show that people who are focused more on gifts feel less holiday cheer than those who spend more time with close friends and family. And despite your best efforts to get a loved one the perfect gift, a survey done by Consumer Reports showed that each year up to 49 million people get gifts they don’t want. Some turn around and sell these gifts on eBay while others post “bad gift” photos on Facebook and other social media. Find out what your loved one truly enjoys. Even if directly asking them what they want and giving the gift isn’t a surprise, at least you’ll know your loved one likes it.
4. You don’t go in debt to make the holidays special. For big families, drawing names and having each person buy gifts for one person can help. Handmade items or coupons good for a night of dishes or a week of laundry are greatly appreciated.
5. Family gatherings are the perfect time to play games. Anything from a treasure hunt to cards, charades or board games, all are a great way to connect with family members while engaging your body, imagination and mind.