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Stressed for the holidays?

Create a Better Tomorrow by giving Thanks for what we have Today….

The world is an astonishing place even though we are engrossed in economic crisis, hunger, and war. 

With the holiday season approaching us, we can easily focus too much on the little things and not on the big picture. Simplifying our stressful lives can help us cope and enjoy the holiday season. 

For instance, as Thanksgiving is upon us, we are thinking of the holiday menu, getting together with family, whose house to go to and when, and of course the Christmas shopping. We all have good intentions but easily stress out instead of enjoying the preparation and remembering what the holiday season is really all about. 

Give yourself a break, and enjoy a stress free holiday season with these helpful hints: Create a Plan: Start now, write down your goals for the next few weeks. Prioritize your list by a timeline and by importance. Achieving small goals over time gives you a sense of accomplishment and motivation to keep going. 

Involve the whole family in planning the activities. The family can support and help with the planning. You may be surprised at the family's expectations. Reminiscing over previous holidays helps distinguish what everyone loves, what works or doesn't work, even down to what they want on the Thanksgiving table. Start by planning the menu and guest list. After planning the meal and activities, delegate some of the chores to the kids, your spouse and guests. Yes, the guests. When they ask what they can bring, be prepared to check something off your list. 

Shop. Make a list of food needed for the holidays and start buying it now. Sale items, can goods and freezer items are a great start. Adding a few items to your weekly shopping list will help soften the financial burden of buying all at once, and you may even save if you watch the sales. 

Simplify. Eliminate what does not work.  Money, is it stealing your joy? In this economy, it's time to get creative. Give the gift of yourself by volunteering. 

Set your boundaries. Just kindly say NO. Setting boundaries is about educating people on how they can treat you and their expectations of you. Is there someone you need to teach? 

Give with enjoyment, not obligation. Give in a way that comes naturally to you. Stay within your means and be true to yourself. It will give you integrity and not empty your bank account. If there is a situation, gathering or party you are dreading, think about how you can spin it in a way that will bring you joy. If you can't spin it, don't do it. 

Give Thanks by putting your life in perspective. What are you thankful for? Go around the table and have each person tell what they are thankful for and share memories of Thanksgivings past. This is a great way to bridge the generation gap between grandparents and children and to teach children how to be grateful for what they have. 

Give and Forgive. You are role models for your children. Don't hold grudges. Forgive and start over again. This is a great time to set new boundaries.  Nurture your holiday spirit. Stay calm, eat healthy, and get lots of rest and exercise! Leave room for your favorite holiday activity whether it is spiritual, play or volunteering to help people less fortunate than you. 

Homemade Hostess and Teacher Gift Holiday Cocoa Mix This is a quick easy and delicious recipe. Place the ingredients in a sack or put in a mason jar, top with the marshmallows and tie with a bow or ornament for an instant gift.  1-½ cups dry milk 1-½ cups confectionary sugar ½-cup cocoa ½ cup of non-dairy creamer 1 ½ cups mini marshmallows

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