How to Avoid Holiday Stress

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Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year. I love the holiday spirit, from the Christmas trees, to the lights, to the decorations, to the eggnog and the immense desire to give. For me, that desire to give can quickly become overwhelming. To add insult to injury, it comes accompanied by anxiety and stress both mentally and financially.

A couple of years ago in November I felt the holiday stress start to take over. Curled up in my chair with my notepad sipping on my grandmother's spiced tea, I tried to think of something thoughtful and simple that I could gift to my loved ones for Christmas. Unfortunately, even as I calculated the "simple" things, I quickly realized they too would take a toll on me mentally and financially.

I finally came to the realization that a gift doesn't have to be something from a store, expensive, or "cheap" but simply something meaningful. Racking my brain, I got the bright idea. Why not make my grandmother's spiced tea that I love so much and give it in mason jars with beautiful bows? To my delight, the jars of Grandma's spice tea were a major hit ... Well, of course it was a hit, it's Grandma's tea, right?

So how will you take time for yourself during this holiday season?

Most of us are busiest around this time of year with work, vacations, family visits, college students heading home, and shopping for those "perfect" gifts. We often forget to slow down, which leave us oblivious to the sneaking attack of holiday stress. Don't neglect yourself or your budget due to the overwhelming feeling to overspend or over give. If you can't afford to buy gifts, don't worry yourself. Get crafty with something homemade such as tea, cookies, favorite candies, or homemade sugar scrub. If you aren't crafty, buy gifts year around when you can get them on sale. Whether you buy gifts or make homemade ones, the key is to remember that you need to make yourself happy too.