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Get a Grip on the Holiday Crazies

How One Katy Mom is Managing Her Stress this Season

I love those commercials for the mops and dusting cloths that attract dust and dirt. It’s almost like all you have to do is take the thing out of the box and the dust in your house will just magically cling to it. If only the crazies in my life would do something similar. I could get rid of them all at one fell swoop.

It is that time of year again. Errands, shopping, cleaning, traveling, cooking, entertaining, attending parties, wrapping, and the multiple other holiday stresses are beginning to weigh heavily on families. The traffic down Fry Road alone is enough to drive me batty. Don’t these other drivers know that I just want to go home? I promise I’m not trying to get ahead of them at the local Hallmark!

While you wait at the grocery store this time of year, you need the same old headlines on national magazines: “Holiday Help for Less Stress,” “Five Steps to Happy Holidays,” and my favorite, “How Not to Let Your Family Drive You Crazy This Season.” Do these writers just recycle their annual material?

Here is my addition to the helpful holiday advice. Maybe it’s revolutionary. I hope you have time to read it. It’s short, I promise. Okay, here goes:

It won’t be perfect.

Say it out loud and let it sink in. You’ll be amazed at how your heart rate and stress level will both lower. Those cookies you wanted to make, decorate, and bring to the office? The supermarket bakery makes them, too. That perfect meal you volunteered to make? Make the sides and pick up the main course from a restaurant. If anyone dares complain, tell them that they can be in charge next holiday!

And, oh, those gifts that you have to get – you can shop online at any hour of the night. Most places will even wrap them for you for a small charge. Pay it! Better yet, find a high school student who wants to make some money to wrap your presents or play with your children while you get some household things done. Maybe even better yet: forgo some presents and give a certificate for a future day spent together at the zoo, the movies, mini-golf, or for a day of shopping.

Most importantly, remind yourself and your family that the season of gift-giving, family bonding, and especially the religious element of Christmas are supposed to be a year-round event. You can take your time. It doesn’t have to happen in one 24-hour time span.

You know this. Just keep telling yourself that it won’t be perfect. Now, tell us how you stay sane at this time of year – IF you have the time to spare!