Holiday stress is definitely a popular subject. Over the years, I have absorbed stress during the holidays with juggling children, family, cooking, working, shopping, and on top of it all trying to be creative with my gift ideas. I’m a woman and women always take the lion’s share of holiday stress. Women believe that they have to do it all. They don’t!
Time and finances are impacted significantly during the holidays, and they are the two major reasons why people feel stress. Financial stress can last the whole year if one is overspending. What if all of us were to change our current patterns and do the holidays differently.
The underlying desire with all this busyness is to celebrate and share the holidays together. If women keep their focus around “sharing,” they will be able to minimize stress levels. Women know how to “give” and are reluctant to share. Sharing is a back and forth process….so here are my three good tips for busy women.
Time is our most valuable resource…how do you want to use it?
-Know what makes the holidays special to you. Choose 3 “must do’s” that make the holidays for you. For example, cooking your special dishes, religious expression, or being with your family and friends. Everything else is negotiable…do or don’t, that is your choice.
-Learn to Delegate…organize all of the tasks that are part of the holidays. You have to organize it anyway. Take the list and then find your resources. You may be surprised to find that family and friends actually want to participate and share in the making of the holidays. It’s all in your presentation,…express your desire to share the holidays and ask for their support. Another great resource for help…caterers, house cleaners, online shopping sites (don’t have to leave home), or the teenager next store.
-Financial Savvy: Yes, it is so much fun to see the expressions of others when they open your gifts. Yet, do you want to spend the rest of the year paying off the bill. Keep your gift giving simple…you don’t have to prove anything to anyone.
For family and friends, do a Secret Santa or Secret Giver (non-religious). The idea behind this is everyone picks one name and buys for that person. Select a dollar limit for the gift and keep it a secret. Everyone shares in the gift buying and finances equally.
For children, limit the number of gifts and let them know ahead of time. Instead of spending money or using your time away from them for shopping, give them the gift of time. You can cook together, share a hot chocolate while watching their favorite movie, play a game or read to them. It’s a special gift for both of you to share and that special time will be remembered for years to come.
After the holidays are all over, take the time to review what worked and what didn’t work for you. You know what to do with what doesn’t work – eliminate it, take it off your “to do” list for next year. Highlight what worked and then you will be prepared for next year’s celebration.
Copyright (c) 2007 Pat Brill