Getting Ready for Seasonal Celebrations: Real-Life Tips From Our Inbox
These holiday tips sent in from our readers will help you stress less during the holiday season. Get advice on staying organized, decorating the simple way and preparing a stress-free holiday feast.
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The holiday season is a process to be enjoyed, and judging by these stress-free holiday tips many of you are in great shape. Top on the list is "shopping early," but some of you were creative and recommend we "don't decorate" or "leave town on vacation." Because we're gluttons for punishment — and not decorating is not an option — here are some sure-fire ways to make this holiday season relaxing.
First, I have intentionally limited the number of occasions we make a part of the holiday. We arrange to spend time with people once during the season. In this way, we manage to see more people with more quality time. We attend only one "non-family" party. Next, I split the holiday occasions with family: one does Christmas, the other does Thanksgiving and New Year's is private. A third member hosts the Christmas tree decorating event.
Karen Miller, Poway, Calif.
One member of my family volunteers to print return and address labels, one pastes them on the holiday cards and everyone signs their names after a family dinner one evening in the two week period after Thanksgiving. This cuts down on the amount of time it takes to get the cards out. Greeting cards are only sent to folks who live out of town or will not be seen during the holidays. For others, a card is attached to the homemade cookies or candy they receive. This cuts down on postage and adds a nice touch.
Bev Knapp and Cindy McElroy, Alexandria, Va.
We no longer exchange gifts. We buy gift items all year and have a grab bag. These have to be nice items that we can use.The teenage and older grandchildren love this and we older ones get elegant lotions, bath items and towels that we don't buy for ourselves. We also limit the number of obligations we have during the month. We celebrate on a day that everyone can make it since driving is involved. Dinner is basic with a few new dishes we like to try. This has turned into a really fun time instead of all of being so tired.
Carol Neibling, Highland, Kan.