3 Ways to Reduce Your Holiday Stress

"I have a love/hate relationship with the holidays!"

This quote is a comment many parents can relate to. It's so much fun to see

the excitement in a child's eyes as holiday decorations begin to appear and we gather with friends and family for wonderful celebrations. That is the "love" part of the holidays. Then there is the reality of all the work that makes those special moments happen. If you haven't already, I'm sure you'll soon be making lists. From gifts to buy to recipes to try, the grand "to-do" list grows daily. There's also the feeling of having to meet expectations. For some, it's the obligation of attending parties and gatherings. For others, it's required visits to relatives near and far. You may even be dreading the conversations about gift-giving boundaries. (Trying to gently tell grandparents that your child does not need half the toy store makes you sound like the Grinch!) Today I want to encourage you to take a deep breath and give yourself permission to let go of some things. Right now, you might be saying, "Oh right! You have NO idea how badly that would go around here." I get it. I really do. But, if you are already dreading the holidays, wouldn't it make sense to make even some small changes so you can stop the feeling of dread and enjoy the upcoming weeks instead?! Ask yourself, would you really rather spend the next few weeks missing out on the real joy of this season because you're stressing about someone else's expectations? Here are a few holiday strategies for you: 1. Set limits on gifts There is absolutely no