Merry Christmas... hold the stress

FINDERN, DERBYSHIRE, CHRISTMAS EVEImage by hazelisles via Flickr

As much as we love the season... Christmas can be a stressful time of the year. Having a list definitely helps me put things into perspective. You have no idea!

1. How much you spend can cause a ton of stress. You never feel that you are finished or have bought enough. Decide before hand on a dollar amount and then let everyone know about. It will take away their stress as well.

2. How much you do during this time of year can cause major stress. If you start planning in January, you have a head start. Come up with a list of things that you want to accomplish and divide them up so that you can work on one thing every month. By the time Christmas rolls around, you are done... and no stress.

3. What to serve... now is not the time to try out new recipes... unless you are Nigella Lawson. For me, this is the perfect time for the dish to flop. Stick to recipes that are tried and true and keep them simple! I have one cookie recipe that always wins favor. Who would have guessed that an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie could do this!

4. One tree... there was a time when I thought that you needed multiple trees all around the house for your home to really feel festive. Okay, I am still feeling that way, but I'm trying to talk my way out of it. For a few years now, I have been waiting for an 8 foot black tree and so far, no luck. But... if I do happen to find one, I will really need someone to try and talk me out of it. Not sure that they will succeed however. I have been looking for this tree for several years now. Spotted it while on holiday a few years ago in England and I've been waiting ever since!

5. Enjoying Christmas eve... this is my all time favorite night of the year. I swear that there is magic in the air. I love to fill the house with candles and go for a walk in the early evening hours. Love shines out of every window and then home for a mug of hot chocolate and a reading of... The Night Before Christmas. And no, it doesn't matter how old your kids are.

6. Plan your Christmas day... It won't be so hard if it is merely the immediate family, but if you are planning for a crowd, "planning" is essential here. You will want as much prepared early as possible. That way, you can sit back and enjoy the day!

7. Potluck Christmas dinner... is another way to take a lot of the stress off of YOU! Ask everyone to bring... what you want them to bring. If you don't tell them what you want, you are likely to have little in the way of Christmas Dinner and a LOT of desserts... which might not be a bad thing lol!

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