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Financial Stress

Readers Respond: Holiday Shortcuts: Great Little Holiday Stress Solutions!

Responses: 13


Updated December 07, 2009

The holiday season can be a stressful time because of holiday perfectionism and over-doing. Holiday shortcuts can be your best friend in terms of holiday stress relief: They allow you to enjoy the traditions you love without as much busyness and stress. Here are some holiday shortcuts I recommend. What are your best holiday shortcuts? Share what works for you, and see what other readers have to say!

Can't Remember What People Like or Want.

When it comes to holiday shopping, I usually draw a blank. I can't keep up with what all the special people in my life like or want. So, I created YouFinity. With YouFinity, I have a database of gifting information from each of my family and friends. I can see what sizes they wear, what colors they like, what brands the like and a whole heck of a lot more. It really makes holiday gift giving fun! It's like shopping in a store custom built for them! Maybe it'll help others.
—Guest Chris Mitchell

Live Now

Live now--in the present. Don't worry for tomorrow.
—Guest Benn

Sure-Fire Stress Reducer

Making bread always reduced my stress because kneading the dough for 5-10 minutes was a great workout and let me get out some aggression. The up-side was great tasting bread!
—Guest Rebecca


To relieve my stress and appreciate the season in all its chaos, I enjoy going to hospitals and visiting mostly people whom don't have visitors. I make ceramics before I go to give them a gift. I read to them if they'd like, most of them do. And I sing carols if they really want me to. This helps me appreciate what I have, give back to the community & relieves my stress during the season. It only takes a couple hours too!
—Guest yvonn

Sure-Fire Stress Buster

I really enjoy the Holidays now that I have sat down and thought about it. First! REMEMBER, you like or love these annoying people. Second Have a couple of cocktails (just enough to take the edge off) AND FINALLY, Look at all the lovely decorations and beautiful lights and remember this is a special time of the year and someone may not be with you/us next holiday.
—Guest LeeS

Happy Every Day

Don't think about yesterday, don't think about tomorrow. You work so hard today, you will have less trouble, you are happy every day.
—Guest Robin

Walking in the Snow!

I like to get outside for a brisk walk. It gives me time to plan my day and helps me wear off the Christmas goodies!
—Guest Susan

Stress Relievers

Sit with sadness every day. We all experience sadness at the holidays because we remember those who are not with us. If we try to avoid the sadness we will either run around like chickens with their heads cut off, spend too much money, or drink too much. If we sit and acknowledge our sadness as a normal part of ourselves the holidays will be far less stressful and we will return to joy.
—Guest Todd Davison

Time Limit on Decorating

I figure that when you decorated for the holidays, everyone usually begins with the most important things first, whatever that might be for them, and subsequent items go up in order of diminishing importance. SO... I set a time limit on my decorating. I start with my tree as soon as possible after Thanksgiving dinner! Maybe Thanksgiving evening, or Friday. I decorate as I'm able to or feel like, until the evening of the first Sunday in December. If it's not put up before bedtime of that day, it stays in the box! You're done, no matter how much you've done. What a relief to know that not EVERYTHING has to be put out.

Stress less

I have a simple strategy. I sit down about mid-November with a To Do list for Christmas which includes everything which needs to be done - this list is copied from year to year. Then I mark down dates in my diary for each task. This way I don't become overwhelmed. I also have a list of people whom I buy presents for and a Christmas grocery shopping list which I print off each year and the cost of both lists are included in my annual budget so the money is there to meet them. Baking I do very little of as M&S are far better at it than I and take less time! Simple as. If people I only see once a year (for very good reasons) expect a home made Christmas cake that really isn't my problem. I do as much entertaining as I feel capable of - no more. And some shopping can be done online.
—Guest Ciara


I used to do a huge holiday card each year. I had friends who made theirs into a poem, so I felt like a regular newsy letter with personal note may not even be enough! Then I decided to save some time and money and do an e-card with pictures and a nice note, and send it out to everyone on my list. Even though it's not quite as nice as getting something in the mail, it saves me so much time, money and stress, that I think it's a better area to cut back than any other. Then I can really enjoy the holidays, and there's no danger of me not doing it at all because it feels like too much (which has happened)!
—Guest Beth


I like to whip up a huge batch of fudge and give pieces to all the neighbors, my kids' teachers, etc. I just get some inexpensive gift tins, make a ton of fudge in a day, and I have several gifts out of the way for not too much money.
—Guest Susan

Big Party

It may not seem 'simple', but I like to have a big party for the holidays--I get everyone together, serve some wine and cookies, and have a white elephant exchange. This is my 'gift' to everyone, and then I don't have to worry about exchanging individual gifts with everyone, either. I'll want to clean before Christmas anyway, so I may as well clean my house and have a party too, right?
—Guest Isabelle

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