‘Tis the season for shopping, parties, handling sick kids, baking, more shopping, visiting with next-to-everyone you know, still more shopping and maybe, if you’re lucky, the chance to sit by the fire and relax for a few minutes…if you’re lucky. There’s truth to the statement: “I need a holiday after the holidays.”
I know I tend to overdo it during the season. With so much on the ‘to do’ list, it’s easy to relate to how Santa must feel scurrying around in his workshop dealing with presents, frantic, over-worked elves, travel plans and staving off any unwanted seasonal illnesses. So it is one of my goals this year to stay sane and actually allow the holiday to be just that: a holiday. The temptation to overbook has been squelched by my newest idea that rivals Santa’s Naughty and Nice List. It’s my Holiday Checklist of Do’s and Don’ts.

Don’t: Feel I need to take the kids to every single holiday event going on in town.
Do: Make sure I spend some time with the kids doing something that we will all enjoy together that doesn’t require a) a major budget or b) a lot of travel. Cozying up by the fire with a holiday story and some hot chocolate, or making cookies together is what memories are made of.
Don’t: Force myself to buy ‘unique’ gifts for absolutely everyone. It is okay if the babysitter and the next door neighbour get the same gift (here are five great ideas).
Do: Limit my shopping excursions so that I don’t spend the whole season hunting through stores or websites. Buying in bulk is okay!
Don’t: Overbook my evenings with parties or events. Sleep and down-time is equally important.
Do: Remeber to enjoy myself.

I’m interested to know what’s on your Holiday Checklist to help you manage holiday stress. And stay tuned for next week when I reveal the results of our recent SavvyMom Holiday Stress Survey and share what moms across the land find most stressful about the holiday season. You’re definitely not alone if being responsible for the entire gift list stresses you out!


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