Sunday, December 19, 2010

Reduce Holiday Stress. Re-gift

I am surrounded by people stressing about the holidays. At the office, at the mall (where I went mistakenly thinking picking up a few items was going to be a slam dunk), in restaurants, everywhere. Never one to stand on ceremony, I’m going full disclosure; I have taken some of these suggestions from a recently penned post-divorce blog. It’s kind of like re-gifting, which is a perfectly acceptable stress reducer as long as it’s done unobtrusively. Manage holiday stress with a few changes.

*Acceptance is golden. Last year things didn’t go perfectly well, and they won’t this year. Accept that truth. Aunt Sally didn’t like her sweater (next time get her a gift card) and your dad complained about the turkey. It’s okay to do the best you can. It’s good enough because it has to be. If you and your brother didn’t get along well before, you’re not going to get along better now just because another year has passed. If the kids argue normally, they’re going to argue even though it’s the holidays.

*Money can’t buy you love. In the present economy, most of us just don’t have as much as before. The kids can do with less. Either they’re old enough to understand or too young to care about exactly how much money you spent. Your friends will understand if you don’t have as much to give as you did before.

*Be helpful. Volunteering to serve a holiday dinner to people in need is a fulfilling experience and one that can make even the most stressful holiday warmer and more upbeat. If you can’t serve, considering giving food or money.

*Be thankful. It’s the end of a year and the beginning of another, so be thankful for what you do have. What a great time to start a gratitude journal or a gratitude book for the whole family. And speaking of gifts, gratitude letters are great gifts. So are personalized cards expressing thanks to friends and family for specific things. And so are photo books and other handmade or made-to-order personalized gifts that are not too expensive.

*Be social. Although we don’t always get along with our loved ones, even for the most diehard introverts, holidays are tough alone. If need be, invite yourself someplace. Friends and colleagues are usually more than happy to make room for one or two more.

Happy holidays! Thanks for reading my blog, and feel free to re-gift me anytime.

Say you don't need no diamond ring and I'll be satisfied
Tell me that you want the kind of thing that money just can't buy
I don't care too much for money, money can't buy me love.
The Beatles. Can’t Buy Me Love.

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