1. Get out a piece of paper and leave it on your counter so as you think of things to get or to do write them down. This helps us to sleep better and keeps the mind free of the clutter so we can function more efficiently at this busy time of year.
2. There is so much to do at the last minute so do everything else early, such as your baking, shopping, putting your tree up so you can enjoy it longer, get your cards out early. Do one thing everyday instead of waiting until the last minute to do everything.
3. Decide to cut down on spending. Put all the family names in a basket and have everyone draw a name for gift giving. This works well in larger families.
4. One year I gave everyone in my family a fun inexpensive watch. Everyone got watches. One year I gave out wallets and purses and last year my family got something western.
5. Get a coloring book and a brand new box of crayons and start coloring. A great stress buster!!
6. Ask your kids what is their favorite part of Christmas besides receiving gifts. Listen to what they share. You may be surprised that it is the little things we do that matter most.
7. Do not pass on your sadness or unresolved issues to your children. Christmas can be a sad time because we all have had losses and deaths at this time of year. Sometimes those memories pop up and get in the way of us being able to provide a healthy, joyful time for our children.
8. Give away your time in the form of coupons. Samples: This coupon entitles you to 3 hours of free childcare, or a new hair do if you are great with hair, or 2 hours of mechanical work, a home cooked dinner for 2. Gift wrap your coupon and put it under the tree for that special person. Elders love these gifts, the gift of time.
9. Play favorite Christmas music from your childhood. Have it on to pass down to our children the traditional Christmas music.
10. Decide that the moment you start feeling stressed, step back and remember to stay in balance. The key is to enjoy all aspects of Christmas, not just filling your cart at the store. Homemade gifts are often appreciated more.
Have a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous 2014.