The holidays can be a very stressful time. Whether you're staying home or traveling, celebrating with others or your family's going solo - we tend to take on the bulk by ourselves. There's prep for meals, gift buying, gift wrapping, gift shipping, decorating, packing, cooking, and schedule organizing. Give yourself a gift - a break!
Here are a few ideas that might be helpful.
Defeat perfectionism. If it's not perfect it is okay. Really. Take that pressure off yourself. You could do everything in your power, and the ham or turkey or pie still falls on the floor. Take all of it with humor, and remember your priorities. Family togetherness, the holiday's purpose, and celebration. Anything else is just gravy. The decor does NOT have to be perfect, nor the food, nor even the gift. "It's the thought that counts" is a true and valid concept.
Organize yourself. Utilize lists. If you get the idea or to-do item down on paper, it can stop cluttering your mind and adding to your feelings of being overwhelmed.
Use shortcuts. Things like premade dough, already cut carrots, shopping online, gift bags instead of wrap... While sometimes convenience comes with a higher price tag - perhaps the relief of the mind and time-saving properties is worth it.
Schedule in YOU time. Schedule a bubble bath. Ask your spouse or friend or family member to watch the kids for an hour to ward off the door pounding, "Mooooooms." Schedule a quiet trip to the library or book store. Schedule quiet time to work on your crafts, if that's your thing. Just schedule it - on your calendar - and don't make that a last priority. One hour of quiet can do you a world of good on your perspective and ability to handle what comes.
If you can afford it... Buy yourself a small gift. A fuzzy blanket. A lavender pillow. Something not too pricey (we're not trying for guilt here) but altogether you. For example - I bought myself a pink fuzzy blanket. The boys of the house want nothing to do with it making it ALL MINE. That thing acts as my lovey when I don't feel good, lap blanket on cold days, shawl to run outside for something... I bought it just for me, and it gets used every day.
Remember. The holidays are not meant to make you crazy. They are not meant to make you feel less than. They are a celebration. Take the time out to celebrate them instead of work for them!