If your Christmas spirit runs a little low as the holidays approach, carefully review your own expectations of yourself. If you put pressure on yourself to have a perfectly decorated house and serve lavish feasts like your mom or grandma did, you may be setting yourself up for unhappiness. Instead, work to make the holidays function within your schedule and energy level.

Drive Safely

Pretty much everyone will be on the road again this holiday season, and many of them will be stressed. Save yourself a lot of grief and worry about staying home on the weekends. Try and stop on the way home from work to pick up what you need for special dinner feasts. Gift shop online and have things delivered to the office or stop at your favorite department store on the way home. Yes, this may be tiring, but you will give yourself the gift of a Saturday at home with no errands to run. One-third of drivers admit that they tend to be more aggressive on the road when they’re feeling holiday stress. With a little planning, you can safely avoid them.

Shop Early

Start early. Simple, small gifts such as casual jewelry, clothing or books can be bought at any time of the year. Remember, this person is your loved one, but you are not a mind reader or a genie. It’s very hard to come up with a home run-hitting gift year after year. Older kids can be impossible to buy for, especially if your budget is limited. If people can’t give you a specific gift idea, get them a gift card. Once and done is a great way to shop, and they can burn their brainpower figuring out what they want. Do you find gift cards to be a little stale? Try a creatively wrapped gift card for that special person.

Remember What the Season is All About

For Christians, the story of Christmas has a lesson of hospitality and sharing. Rather than trying to figure out how to manage your job, school projects, kids, bad weather and the office Christmas party fuss, you can bring people together. Invite loved ones, but also try to make room for someone who may be alone at Christmas. Find a charity that supports refugees in your city or visit a gift tree at a shopping center. Many people would be thrilled with a set of sheets or some blankets during the cold days around Christmas. Bulk up this donation with useful supplies such as canned foods. For nonbelievers, the holidays are a time of new beginnings. Reach out to an estranged or lonely relative or neighbor. Christmas comes at the darkest time of the year. Celebrate it by being a source of light to those around you.

The holidays can seem like a stressful time of year for many. The lavish holiday feasts you recall from childhood were likely made by women who actually had time to cook. Give yourself the gift of a simplified holiday. Buy the cookies instead of baking or have a holiday potluck instead of trying to create a Norman Rockwell feast. Celebrate the chance to connect and enjoy a stress-free holiday season.

To relieve some more of your holiday stress, let us put up your Christmas lights for you! Contact us today to schedule your installation.