1. Make a list and cut it twice. Go ahead, make that
two-mile-long to-do list featuring all your holiday hopes and
dreams. Now cut the list in half. Then pare it down once more.
Choose the holiday activities, decorating ideas and family
traditions that are really important to you, rather than striving
to be all things to all people. Martha Stewart's house might look
perfect, but I bet she's not all that much fun to hang out
2. Give your holiday cards a reality check. How many times have you
wiped away your child's frustrated tears as you reprimand them for
goofing around while getting that perfect holiday picture? Forget
the stress of studio sittings this year. Instead, set up your
camera's timer and let it click away. Pick one that shows your
family at its best-laughing and having fun.
3. Phone a friend. With the price of gas and everyone's time at a
premium, form a Christmas co-op. Choose one or two close friends to
share your holiday errands and shopping trips. Do you all really
need to go to Target and Best Buy? Compare your lists over a cup of
coffee, figure out who goes where, then divide and conquer. Just
keep all of your receipts and set a date to settle up and deliver
4. Be a party pooper. I like to rock around the Christmas tree as
much as the next mama. But a girl's got to know her limits. Just
because you've been invited to seven holiday parties in three weeks
doesn't mean you have to go to all of them. And don't make up crazy
excuses either. Simply say you have a previous engagement (one that
includes little people, hot chocolate and a viewing of
5. Hang some mistletoe and just do IT. Medical research shows that
having regular intimate "playdates" with your man really does
relieve stress. Parental playdates help to smash stress through the
release of feel-good hormones and deep breathing. Sprinkle a little
massage on top and you're both sure to feel the holiday madness
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