Tips for a Lowering Christmas Stress

The dream of having a picture perfect Christmas can be enticing, but if this year it’s not possible, and it usually isn’t, go for the easy choices. The time you save may give you an opportunity to enjoy those special Christmas moments that will never come again.

Lose the Tree this Christmas

If the kids are grown and gone, dispense with decorating a tree this year and opt for a wreath and some nice poinsettias instead. Christmas trees are wonderful, but they’re hard work too. Even if you have an artificial tree, you have to drag it into position and assemble it. Oh, and after the holiday you have to do it all again in reverse. There’s nothing wrong in dispensing with the tree, or just putting up a small tabletop tree this year. It’ll save energy, time, and trouble.

Make a Christmas Plan

Once you identify the people you’ll be buying for and how much you have to spend on each person, it will eliminate some of the stress you’re feeling. Make a Christmas checklist and stick with it. For last minute emergencies, pick up a few inexpensive generic gifts, like candles, that can be good choices for almost any adult. If you have a large family, try a round robin gift exchange to cut down on expenses.

Audition Your Meal

Whether you’re cooking for your family or a crowd, be prepared for the unexpected by auditioning your recipes beforehand. This is especially important if you are planning on using a new recipe this year, doubling a recipe, or working with a new oven. If the recipe turns out fine during the dry run, freeze it and use it as a holiday extra. You’ll probably need it before the New Year.

Use Disposable Items

It may not be environmentally conscious, although it’s always a good idea to use recycled items, but being able to dispose of tablecloths, plates, serving containers, and glasses after a meal is a great convenience. The less you have to cleanup after a celebration, the happier you’ll be. You can extend this to your meal prep too. Clear the decks as much as possible before the meal and you’ll have less to worry about doing afterward. Paper towels are good for last minute cleanups, and aluminum foil and wax paper are good for catching hot and cold spills in the kitchen.

Cook Ahead

Hey, no one will know if you make the sweet potato casserole ahead and freeze it. Preparing a few items ahead makes good sense. With only one stove, oven real estate can get scarce as mealtime approaches. Precooked dishes can be heated in the microwave in minutes. (Make sure your containers are freezer and microwave safe).

Let Someone Else Do the Work

Frozen pies and deli prepared holiday meals are much better quality than they used to be. Instead of tackling the entire meal, take some shortcuts by purchasing some or all of your holiday feast already prepared. If that idea doesn’t appeal to you, encourage your guests to bring their favorite dishes. That way they get to contribute what may be their favorite holiday goodie and you’re spared the extra work.

Try for excellence another time. Leave the perfect table setting, the perfect flower arrangement and the perfect dessert for another occasion. You’ll be glad you kept it simple. Christmas only comes once a year, so make sure you’re not too rushed and stressed to enjoy it.

Merry Christmas To You All! Hope This Christmas And New Year Brings A Lot of Good Memories To You 🙂