Mom Squad: Stress-Free Holiday Season

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From Leslie: 

I have learned to slow down and be in the moment. I don't over commit and remember the purpose of the holiday celebration. Remind my kids the why, as well. This brings more attention to gratitude verses receiving. 

From Janet: 

PLAN PLAN PLAN!  Try to stick to it as best you can.  If you like to bake or give out baskets that type of thing.  Plan a day or weekend if you're going do that type of thing.  If you want to help feed the hungry or give a food box to a local food bank, get your kids involved going through your cupboards and saying "do you really like those or can we give them away" type of thing.  I used to try and get my kids involved in charity work at this time of year as much as possible.  Always took a plate of decorated sugar cookies to the local fire house.  Not many people do them any more because they are alot of work but a lot of fun.  Consider decorating someone elses house that is maybe to elderly or ill right now.  Put up their tree or put up some lights.  It will so brighten their day.   A lost art "caroling"!  Get a group together and pick a few elderly homes they will love you for it.

MOST OF ALL RELAX!  NO holiday is ever perfect.  Take family dynamics in stride and remember the Toltec teaching "don't take it personally!"  You only get so many Thanksgivings, so many Christmases, don't waste them on petty stuff.  I only have maybe 20 left if I'm lucky. I'm going to enjoy every one!

From Laura:

Holiday stress management strategies I use:

Use a calendar to note parties, events, deadlines and which days we will use for decorating tree, cookies, making presents...etc.

Save money monthly during the year, to minimize the financial stress when the holidays arrive with a long list of extra expenses.

Prioritize what is most important to get done first- usually traditions and Christmas cards are top on my list.

Though last year was the first year ever that I did not send them out.......got swamped, got sick, and 150 photo cards sat beautifully on my desk until February.

I wrap presents in front of the tv on the floor with a glass (or two) of wine. 

(Is Christmas cookies and wine really such a bad dinner during the holidays?!?!)