#532 There's peace even in the storm

November to me is just one step away from Christmas, and Christmas being like a storm. As the clouds turn grey and dark so do my stress levels. Well for once I am saying enough!!. I will not have a stressful Christmas this year and everyone can help out.. so i say puffing up my chest and screaming at the top of my lungs. So be it I say.. (oh help!!).

It is possible to go from stressed to blessed, to create a simpler, more joyful Christmas this year. So I am going to follow these ten Grinch-busting tips and you’ll slide from overwhelmed to overjoyed faster than you can shout “God bless us all, everyone!”

1. Lower expectations: Don’t fall for the hype and myth-takes that can ruin your holiday. You’ll  make yourself crazy comparing your home, your holiday, your family, with anyone or anything that makes you feel less than perfect. Stop trying to win the perfect holiday award for the best cookies, the most elaborate decorations, or the biggest gifts. Remember these four important words throughout the holiday season: Do less, enjoy more.

2. Change routines: Why do we feel that we must continue forever to do things just as we’ve always done them? Don’t be bound by past traditions. Think outside the box and consider new ways of doing things to make it easier on yourself.
o   Instead of exchanging gifts with co-workers or extended family, how about choosing a charity to help?
o   Who says you HAVE to cook a huge meal for 30 people every year? Groan, Could you, have a simple gathering instead? Better yet, let another relative take a turn at hosting this year’s celebration.

3. Don’t do it all yourself: Involve every member of the family right down to the toddlers. If you can’t do it together, then maybe it’s not something you need to do at all. Turn decorating, shopping, gift-wrapping, baking, and even house cleaning into family-time activities.

4. Plan ahead: Work smarter, not harder. Do as much as you can in the months before Christmas to leave December open for spontaneous joy. Get the car serviced early  so it will be ready for holiday travel, bake and freeze cookies throughout November, start addressing Christmas card envelopes during the summer while you’re sitting in the sun sipping lemonade.

5. Spend less money: Nothing adds stress to the season like worrying about how you’ll pay the credit card bill come January. Remember that it’s the thought that counts. Think of creative gifts you can give that cost less but express your love. Keep a journal of all your expenditures. Know each day how much you’ve spent so far. Shop fast.  The more time you spend in the store, the more money it will cost you.

6. Simplify gift shopping: Plan ahead, make a list, and stick to it. Shop throughout the year rather than doing it all at the last minute. Instead of individual gifts, buy one item for an entire family such as a board game.

7. Celebrate family and community: Schedule time for fun and relaxing together. Put it on your calendar and make it top priority. Don’t let anything get in your way. If you’re too busy to drive through the neighborhood with the kids looking at the lights and listening to Christmas music, re-arrange your schedule. Whatever you’re planning to do, share it with someone and make it quality time.

8.  Create lasting, loving memories: Be selective. Don’t fill every moment of the season with frantic activity. Think quality, not quantity. Reading stories together, a relaxed tree-trimming, singing carols, making snow angels, or just enjoying the evening stars and sharing a cup of hot cocoa can be more enjoyable than attending every play, concert, and party of the season. Volunteer as a family to sort food at a food bank, organize a toy or coat drive, deliver meals on wheels, or serve Christmas dinner at a shelter. These are memories you’ll cherish forever.

9. Tame the greediest: Steer  the family’s focus toward the needs of others and how your family can render service. Help everyone to develop an attitude of gratitude instead of always wanting something more. Talk about ways to share the season’s joy with others. Instead of wish lists, make a list of ways to practice generosity. These might include helping someone with shoveling, shopping, decorating, or baking. Or choose a volunteer project you can work on together as a family. Keep the TV turned off as much as possible to avoid commercials.

10. Create fun new traditions: Buy a new cookie cutter each year to add to a collection, or shop as a family to buy an early Christmas present for yourselves like a board game you can play throughout  December.

For now though, I am inspired by this awsome outfit from Gizza called the Cardigan with T Shirt and the gorgeous new hair from Elikatira called Libby, about to sip my warm hot chocolate from What Next. So what are you waiting for, come take a walk to our destination for today: - 

Destination: - On9, Collabor88

Cardigan: - Gizza Cardigan with T Shirt - Female (New) @ On9
Hair:- Elikatira Hair called Libby 
Hot Chocolate: - What Next Hot Chocolate (New) @ Collabor88

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