Creative Child

Handling Holiday Stress

Parties to attend, errands to run, gifts to wrap, cookies to bake, and trees to trim are just a small part of our holiday to-do list. For some, the most wonderful time of the year quickly turns into the most stressful time of the year. Many of us kick off the holiday season with plans to enjoy some quality time with family and friends, but as the to-do list grows we find ourselves quickly overwhelmed. How can parents handle the holiday stress while still enjoying the season?

Get organized

Get a jump on the holiday to do list by shopping early. “I start shopping for holiday presents the week after Christmas.” says Missouri mother of two, Rebekah Johnson. “I have what I call, my “magic present box”, which I add to throughout the year. I buy gifts when they are on sale and by Black Friday, I am usually finished shopping.” A little planning ahead makes holiday shopping easier when Christmas approaches. Amy Cameron, mother of three says “I keep a Christmas binder with all the measurements, gift ideas, how much food to purchase and more. I even take photos of my decorated house so I don’t have to reinvent the wheel. It helps me stay sane when I have a blueprint written by me, for me.” A little extra work in advance can take off the stress when the holiday rush begins.



If December has arrived and you realize you forgot to shop throughout the year, try simplifying the holidays. Choose the most important traditions to continue. Cut your menu down to the most beloved dishes. Only purchase the most meaningful gifts. Mother and grandmother Deb Madden says “The key is to simplify and prioritize how you spend your time and money.” By cutting out the things that are less important, your holidays will be more enjoyable and you will feel less stress.


“Delegate. This helps tremendously.” says California mom, Sarah Brown. “If we host a gathering at our home, we send out a list of what we will be providing and then people sign up to bring food, drinks and games.” It can be hard to reach out and ask for help, especially when feeling overwhelmed, but a shared load is much lighter. Chrissy Rousell, Louisiana mom of six says, “Last year was particularly crazy with sick kids, so I paid my babysitter to wrap presents for me. It sounds insane but it was the best money I ever spent.” People love to help others, especially during the holidays. Ask for help in the areas most needed and you might be surprised at who jumps in to help. It is possible you will be able to return the favor in the future.

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