Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Trim the Holidays, but not the Fun!

Holidays are celebrations of beliefs often filled with traditions and time for good cheer. They bring lots of opportunity for happiness, yet may also bring cause for stress. Take time to plan some simple steps that may decrease the pressure and hopefully add to your holiday fun. Whatever your reasons for celebrating, remember them and look for the joy in each of the small, daily happenings.

When thinking of gifts, plan what you can afford to spend and stick to your budget. Impulse buying and over buying usually only add to the after holiday stress load – especially when the charge statements arrive. Consider focusing on memory makers – supplies for scrapbooks, family journals and gifts of time to assist others you care about.

If you do decide to buy a gift, think of something special. Spend time thinking of the recipient, where they are, what they enjoy, maybe what they truly need and try to match your gift to something that would be appreciated by them. Perhaps a coupon promising a weekly or monthly meal, shoveling or babysitting I.O.U’s can help you check off your “to do “list. Maybe making photo journals, personalized calendars which include a selection of cards ( birthday, get well, thank you and anniversary) or an embellished bulletin board or memory board embellished with stickers, paints and funky thumbtacks for the recipient will help you when deciding what gift to give.

Take time to consider your time. Can you give your time to someone who needs it? Do you need to say “yes” to every social event you are invited to? Plan time to be with those who you consider “family”, you can decide who you want to spend time with. Plan time to sit and relax with your family – reading stories, playing a game or taking in some sights of the season.

Bring the festive season into your house, but remember your budget when you decorate. Try your hand at making homemade decorations. Consider decorating an outgrown pair of ice skates or using a sled as backdrop to create a winter theme outside of your house. Save the kid’s artwork and showcase their work around your house to reflect the season. Create labeled storage boxes to store favorite, reusable decorations from year to year.

Plan meals and holiday foods ahead of time. Enlist help – ask your family to make specific dishes or which one they each want include to help you manage and breakdown the workload. Drink water throughout your day to keep you hydrated, healthy and to help curb opportunities to pick at holiday treats. There are lots of great web sites ( do we need to list any) that help you cut calories from traditional recipes. Keep cut fruits and vegetables on hand to munch on and serve them with every meal.

Plan time for yourself, including time to exercise or walk. Adding a few extra steps to your day and getting a good nights sleep will help you to feel recharged to enjoy whatever the day brings.

Warm wishes to you! Enjoy your holiday season and celebrations!

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