De-Stressing Christmas: 5 Tips

4_De-Stressing Christmas 5 TipsThis year, I’m trying to simplify our holiday season. De-stress Christmas, so to speak. The major reason: I’m seven months pregnant now, but about as big as I was before giving birth to Little G. (That’s right: a smidge uncomfortable.)

So this year, my hubby, Little G, and I are planning for a happy yet laid-back yuletide. We’ve decided to:

1.) Forgo traveling. We were sad to decline invitations to spend a December weekend with friends at a Fredericksburg bed-and-breakfast, and to join Christmas celebrations in Pennsylvania with my family and in Dallas with his. But we’re looking forward to wishing everyone season’s greetings from the coziness of our own space.

2.) Celebrate at home. In our own space, I’m excited to recreate some of the Christmastime menu that my mom has been preparing for my dad, siblings, and other loved ones for more than 30 years now. My mom shared with me her recipes for spinach dip and fried cauliflower, and luckily, we have her homemade lasagna in our freezer from her last visit to San Antonio. Yes, friends, I’m cheating a little with the cooking here, but it will be nice to carry on these culinary traditions with my hubby and Little G.

3.) Decorate in steps. Because this will be our first Christmas at home, we’re decking the halls more than usual, though slowly. By mid-December, we’ll have our tree up, plus our stockings, wreath, and outdoor lights. And one thing I need to take care of post-Christmas: A stocking for Baby G. Lands’ End (and other retailers) begin discounting their stockings and related holiday-cheer items by 50 percent on December 26; I’ve already made a note to self to take advantage of these sales.

4.) Buy presents online. On the topic of shopping, I’m relying on the Internet for the majority of our Secret Santa, co-worker, and preschool teacher gifts. Little G and I have had fun wandering through some stores to get ideas (may I just say, I love the Hallmark store this time of the year?!), but we’re leaving most of the logistics, heavy lifting, and delivery to UPS.

5.) Pass on professional Christmas-card photography. Scheduling a photographer, coordinating outfits, coaxing Little G to smile so that one out of every ten shots will turn out OK … We’ll try again another year, friends. 🙂 I took the lazy mama’s way out and snapped a few shots of Little G on my own, to insert into store-bought Christmas cards. I love giving and receiving season’s greetings, and I equally enjoy browsing through the designs at Shutterfly and Minted … this year will just be a little less creative than others.

Tip: For quick, good-quality prints, Walgreens is my go-to store.

Have you ever felt compelled to simplify your holiday season, friends? Why? And what are your de-stressing tips?

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