I don’t get all the hype about the holidays being so stressful.  It sort of annoys me.  I’ve seen articles that advise writing cards in July so have one less thing to stress you during the holidays.  Who gets that stressed?  Why do that to yourself?  I think people just like to say they are stressed because it makes them sound busy and popular.  But in case you are actually struggling with holiday stress here is my helpful guide to a low stress holiday.

1.  Ditch the work party

Once upon a time I was a boss’s wife.  The worst part of that was the holiday party.  I dreaded it all year and everyone but my ex did too.  Getting rid of that party was the best part of getting divorced.  Where I work we figure we see each other all day so there is no need to see each other at night too.

2.  Be unpopular

We don’t have any friends who have holiday parties that we feel obligated to attend.  Or, if they do have parties, they don’t invite us.  Either way we get to stay home and not have to socialize with people that we aren’t dying to see.

3.  No cards

My parents never sent cards so I never got in the habit.  Therefore I don’t have to worry about doing them on summer vacation.  If I want people to stay in touch with me they can be my Facebook friend.  I did buy a package of cards this year because they were funny and they were $2.99.  So far I’ve sent one. 

4.  No decorations

I’ve never understood seasonal decorating.  My mom would work all day to set it all up and then spend another day taking it down in a few weeks.  Usually I live with someone who wants some decorations.  The stress-free response to this is, “Ok, have fun with that.”  Then you come back when the tree is up.  This year we aren’t decorating at all since we may be moving at any given time.  This means that we can look at everyone else’s designs without having to set up and take down our own.

5.  No real world shopping

It is a rule of mine not to set foot in a store after Thanksgiving.  I also ban any store playing Christmas music before Thanksgiving.  Shop online.  You don’t have to deal with herds of people (which makes me homicidal).  It is also is like Christmas everyday when the mail comes.  You get to open the packages yourself first to see what you bought. 

6.  Only buy for people you like

I feel no compulsion to buy for mailmen or teachers or other people.  If I have to give a gift to someone who isn’t close to me I bake.  People don’t want whatever crappy gift you come up with anyway.

7.  Don’t obsess about the date

I have had the sense to get romantically involved with men with no family nearby.  That eliminates the need for multiple family gatherings.  If you did not have this foresight, schedule your holiday visits on different days.  My family is good at this.  Several of them have multiple families and some of them are very hung up on celebrating on December 25th.  So my family will have Christmas whenever it suits.  On Thanksgiving we generally have a discussion about when Christmas is going to be.  Once they had it in February.  That let out of state people get cheaper flights and let everyone shop the after holiday sales.  Usually it isn’t that extreme but you get the idea.

See, it isn’t so hard.  With just the right amount of common sense and Bah Humbugness you too can be stress-free this holiday season.