- Gift decisions - Make a list of who you need to buy for, get on the phone and call each person and ask what they want. This will take a majority of the gift decisions off you, and makes it more likely that you will buy gifts that the recipients really want.
- Shopping - Start early and do all the shopping that you can online. This saves you the stress of going to the stores, finding parking spaces, fighting the cold/snow, dealing with crowds, stores being out of what you want. Shopping online can actually be a fun and relaxing experience, being comfortable in your own home and doing it at your convenience, be it at 6am before the kids get up, or at midnight after everyone else is in bed.
- Decorating - There is no need to decorate every inch of your house. A tree, a couple wreaths, a few other touches is plenty. There is no reason to make decorating an all day ordeal. Make it simple with just a few pieces that you really love and you will love decorating a lot more.
- Money Worries - Sit down early and determine how much you have to spend on gifts. Split that amount up as to how much you have to spend on each person, and make the decicion to stick to it. If you have to buy very small gifts, then make them thoughtful with a personal touch. DO NOT give in to the desire to use credit cards to enable you to buy bigger gifts, this will just add guilt to your stress
- Parties and Family Functions - Make sure you know well ahead of time what you are wearing, make sure it is clean, pressed, attractive and comfortable. Comfortable clothes will increase your enjoyment of any evening. If you are bringing a dish to the function, buy it or prepare it the day before. Probably the most important, make a solemn vow to yourself to forget the past for this one night. Put aside tensions, bitterness and old arguments. Make up your mind that you will not be drawn into any arguments, and make up a sentence like "I am forgetting about anything but having fun tonight" to say to people who try to draw you into a combative conversation. Once you know you will not have to fight with anyone, you will have as much better time.
Image Credit: http://tinyurl.com/ocd7mvn