Tips for a Stress Free Holiday Season

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C. A. Keith

written by C.A. Keith

The holidays are fast approaching. Our blood pressure rises, tempers flare, you are running out of time.  How do we keep the spirit of the holidays alive with the least amount of stress possible?  Whether you are the host or the party goer, these tips can help keep the holidays lighter, brighter and delightful.

Be Organized                                                                                                                                                 Make lists.  List tasks in order of importance and time schedules. Check off your to-do list as they are completed.  Pre-order your turkey.  Leaving things until the last minute? You are likely not going to get the best choices. You could be stuck with the so-so dinner instead of “Wow, that was an awesome dinner!”  If you are the host, decide what you want and when it needs to be done by.  If it can be made the night before, do so.

Plan Ahead                                                                                                                                            Hand out invites early and respond to events early. Use social media sites to do your inviting. Social media sites will help you keep up-to-date with any last-minute things on the to-do list.  The holidays are a busy time for everyone. Don’t plan last minute parties.  If you are going to events, write it on the family calendar and on your phone to avoid family scheduling conflicts.  If you must be at two places on the same night, pop in at both places and apologize for the scheduling conflicts.  You want your guests to feel that they are still valued.

Share Tasks                                                                                                                                               Make the event a pot luck.  Not only is that a great idea come time to do the dishes but most people like to experiment with new recipes.  Tell everyone to bring a favourite dish with the recipe attached to it. Email copies so everyone gets a chance to share great new recipes.  Make a list of who’s bringing what in order to avoid a half-dozen caesar salads and not enough desserts.

What to Wear?                                                                                                                                            Think of all the functions you will be attending during the holidays. To avoid wearing the same dress at every function, find ways of sprucing up that old dress.  Money is tight around the holidays and it is not always feasible to purchase new trendy frocks. Dress up what you have.  A black dress is a staple in all wardrobes.  Change up the jackets, add a chunky sparkly necklace and earrings.  Tie the hair up or let it down with gorgeous waves. You can look like the hottie of the party by adding the right accessories.  A black dress with a red jacket can draw the eye.  A red dress with a black jacket makes day time transition to night time with a little extra bling and a touch more dramatic eye makeup.  Make old, new again.

Pamper Yourself                                                                                                                                     You are almost ready!  Today is the day of the event.  Earlier in the day book an appointment for your hair and nails to be done. If money is tight, do your nails the night before when you’ve had lots of drying time.  Just before you are ready to go, touch up if necessary.  Be sure to put a hard top coat to protect the polish.  Lighter colours don’t show chips as easy as bold colours.  Keep the polish in your handbag for emergency touch-ups.

When everything seems to be nearly done; rest up.  Jump in the bath and let a soothing bubble bath take your breath away.  Take a nap.  Rest up for the long, exhausting night ahead.  Rest makes us look and feel youthful.   Style your hair earlier in the day.  Touch up any loose ends at last-minute.

When it is nearly time, put on that apron that is left hanging up.  Aprons do keep your clothes looking tidy.  You don’t want to greet people with stains all down your shirt and pants.  If you have pets, do a last minute brush before walking out the door.  Better yet, keep a lint roller in your car.

It’s party time and you’re all set.  Stay prepared and organized.  We look and feel our best when we are well rested.  Pamper yourself so you feel as good as you look.  Be the life of the party. We all can have a less stressful holiday season when we plan ahead.

My calendar is in the middle of the island so everyone can see where we are going and when.  I’ve booked hair appointments, I’ll be doing my own nails, I bought a new chunky necklace to wear with my old dress.  My new black boots will look fabulous.  Add a little bit more make-up and I’ll be all set to go from shopping to the work party to dancing with the ladies!

Happy Holidays my dear friends.  Can’t wait to see some of you during the holidays.

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