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Financial Stress

Readers Respond: Holiday Stress: How Do You Relieve It?

Responses: 16


Updated December 22, 2010

The holidays bring wonderful opportunities for showing love, connecting with friends and family, experiencing gratitude for things we often take for granted, and reveling in our spirituality. However, the holiday season itself can also bring significant stress! While it's important to savor the positive, many are stressed by difficult relatives, too-busy schedules, endless gifts to buy, and it helps to have a plan to manage this stress. What causes you holiday stress? Have you found any holiday stress solutions that work well? Share your holiday stress stories and holiday stress relief tips here!

Holiday Stress

I am 64 yrs. old now and have been working 14 yrs., with one yr. to go to retirment. My children are grown and my husband does not get into it like today's husbands in their 20s, ha. He still works. At 70. But I just do not have the energy like I used to. I have not been sending cars now, and I get so wiped out just trying to get a few things done. It is something. Help. Barbara
—Guest barbara matranga

Holiday Stress

Are you stressing out about the holidays? Worrying about what to buy for all your friends and relatives? Stop! Think about what you’re concerned about! Do these people really need more stuff? What’s the best gift you could give to them? What would be most valuable to them? Is it really something that can be purchased at a store? We live in a society that encourages us to accumulate more and more stuff, things we don’t really need. So we chase stuff instead of spending quality time with our loved ones. Memories will last a life time, stuff loses its excitement in a week or month or year – if you’re lucky. Why is it that we all fall into this societal trap every year? Deep down we all know better. So, as you’re approaching this holiday season, what will you focus on? Spending quality time with your loved ones or running from store to store looking for the perfect gift? Will you create memories that last a life time or accumulate stuff? Is the holiday stress too much for you to handle?
—Guest Christoph Nauer

An Easy Way Out of Gift Buying

For all the older members of our family we give gifts of money or gift cards. They really seem to enjoy this. Also, since our family is expanding rapidly and the children need room to run, we hold our Christmas in a local community centre before Christmas. Having it before the 25th seems to bring a better turn-out.
—Guest notlast

Holiday Stress Tips

Taking a walk down a picturesque avenue, listening to inspirational music, reading an excellent and enjoyable book, romance, whatever could enrich one's lifestyle, playing sport with a friend or family, visiting a game reserve with elephants, giraffe, buffalo and water buck, eland etc driving along a coastal drive, having a cool fruit juice & sharing another's point of view and listening, visiting places of wonder, a historical museum, looking at an aquarium and seeing dolphins and other species living in the ocean, going on a sea drive by ferry or boat trip or other, telephone Mom & Dad. Attending a Sunday service at one's favourite Church or Place of Worship & listening for the renewing of your mind. Singing while doing chores and gardening. Touching a leaf on a tree or stroking petals of a flower. Watering the garden and singing. Helping hubby with the car. Baby-sitting for a friend. Washing the puppy, stroking the kittens. Look at birds & birdwatching, colours
—Guest Denis Ross Eileen

Starting after Thanksgiving

I heard a song the other day, "Where is the line to see Jesus?" This Hoiday is out of control. I had decided to buy something for the people I buy for during the season starting after Thanksgiving, one gift at a time when I find it. I'm finished by Christmas! I don't go through the wrapping pressure either! Just gave my Mother her gift yesterday- she loved it and it came from a consignment shop!
—Guest Mary

Holiday Stress

I remember when in my 20's hearing about holiday stress, and really didn't have a clue. In my late 50's I would suggest water therapy as a stress relief--body lotions..these are additions to some of the regular routine-stuff. In this time of high prices, I've been drinking very little alcohol--I would say--there is a difference/I would say that I add very little to my life to deal with stress, but I do suffer stress--I don't have a professional answer, but I would say--remove yourself from the stress.

Holiday Debt Relief

The extra money needed for gift giving was always my biggest Holiday downer.Many years ago I took steps to have the money needed for gifts without going into debt. I recomend a Christmas Club Fund that automatically transfers $50/per paycheck over the year. $1200 at Christmas for gifts is awesome and stress free living!
—Guest Guest Amy

Give to the Needy

My husband and I give to people who are in need of help rather than our family members who have plenty. None of our family is in a situation where they have to worry if there will be enough food for everyone or gifts for each child. So-- we sent a letter to our friends and family in March many years ago letting them know that we were no longer giving or receiving gifts for the holiday season. Each year we contact the dept. of social services, a church or a giving center that has families on waiting lists who are in need that year. It has been one of the most rewarding choices we have ever made. Everyone is happy and no one misses out. I think it would be difficult or uncomfortable to attempt having others join in on this tradition. In time, they may follow, but at first it seems best to make it a personal decision.
—Guest Daisy

Pare Down and De-Stress

I stopped the stress..here's how.. not baking; not making a sit down dinner, only a buffet where everyone brings one dish; not decorating--just a Nativity set and wreath and maybe maybe a tree if I have time; not shopping a lot/only one gift (with a $ limit of 30) per couple or single person. Not watching the shows, not listening to the presure commercials (buy buy buy); So far very good! Lee
—Guest Ljdh


I do year-round shopping, picking up small gifts that remind me of someone as I'm out in stores. I save a lot of money this way and come December I don't have to spend a lot of time in the store crowds. Also, I try to plan one holiday event to attend- whether it's going to hear Christmas carols or seeing a Christmas play that makes me feel happy in the season. This year, due to budget constraints, my event may be sitting at home with family watching It's A Wonderful Life and eating holiday goodies while drinking hot chocolate. And that sounds great to me! Every year I try to find more ways to simplify. As far as family stress goes, I actually split up the trips this year to see each family group separately in order to minimize conflict. And that means I get to have Christmas every week with someone! :)
—Guest CJ

Run Away!

Every year I look foward to the Christmas break, mostly the idea of a break from work. Every year I end the break thinking, 'I need to go back to work for a break!' This year , I have remembered these feelings(finally!) and I am going to 'run away'. I've booked myself into a cheap,comfortable hotel for Christmas and I plan to rest and take it easy. The family and I will have Christmas dinner at a restaurant close by too. My children are grown up, but studying. They can take care of themselves. My husband will most likely come and go a bit, as he still has to work. It will be interesting to see how it goes. I'm really looking foward to a stress free Christmas!
—Guest Unbelievablle

Holiday Stress Reliever

I like to sit in the living room with a cup of herbal tea with the soft Christmas lights on, no harsh ones, and put on the Christmas carols, nice calming ones, not like Jingle Bells! It really helps reduce the "rush" stress. Merry Christmas.
—Guest Bonnie

How to cope with stress

As the British people were told during WW 11, Keep calm and get on with it. I do make a gift list and keep it for next year. That plus getting stamps early in December and then mailing my packages gives me a head start. Remember it is a religious holiday for many people...even Santa Claus started as a Bishop. And of course remember this too shall pass.
—Guest Nana

Doing Myself A Big Favor

Inevitably in the past, when holiday obligations and busy-ness got overwhelming, I'd find myself making list after list, adding more and more things that needed to get done, winding myself tighter and tighter and then feeling hopelessly overwhelmed, nearly paralyzed with the "must do's". Now-a-days, I still make a list (just one!), and then give myself a chunk of time to sit calmly and very methodically examine the items on the list. I make myself remove at least 1/4 to 1/2 of the items listed. It's tough, but I really discipline myself, and what happens is that the list ends up so honed-down to the truly necessary items, that I end up approaching those remaining tasks with a much lighter heart, knowing it's less that it could have been, and that I've been kind to myself.
—Guest Reta

Cutting The Cards

Normally I send holiday cards with recent pictures of my family, a newsy letter AND a personal note--hand-addressed. Then I realized that if I just sent a photo card and wrote one personal line on each, using address labels afterward, I'd have more time to play with my kids. Guess what I'm doing now!
—Guest Beth

Family Stress

I get stressed when I see my family for the holidays. My father gets so critical of me, and I still haven't figured out how to not let that bother me. I don't go home as often as I probably should. That's the only way I've figured out to cope.
—Guest Kate

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