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Old 12-13-2012, 12:34 AM   #1
sasywtch
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Less stress Christmas

I've been reading the other threads about the stress of Christmas and thought it would be nice to have a thread on what you have done to eliminate the Christmas stress/blues. I have a couple:

I learned long ago that my boyfriend probably isn't going to buy me exactly what I want because I usually don't know what I want. While I would love to have that husband on those tv movies who's husband shops weeks before, knows exactly what she wants, they kiss and hug and all in the world is good, that isn't happening at my house
We have decided not to put that expectation on either of us and put the money into an account and take a vacation at another time.

Family gifts. We went from buying for everyone to buying for the under 18 year old olds and drawing a name for the adults to now we just buy for my grandkids. The adults were just buying each other gift cards anyway. My kids have significant others and they buy for each other.

I pay cash only so I have no bills after Christmas. I had to severly learn that my grandkids did not need 30 presents from me.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:36 AM   #2
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:48 AM   #3
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We don't have any family around Seriously, I have learned that certain members of my (and DH's) generally make life more stressful so we always spend Christmas Day and Boxing Day alone - just DH, myself and the kids. Friends and family are more than welcome over the remainder of the holidays, just not for Christmas Day or Boxing Day.

We don't ever plan what time we will eat on Christmas Day. We get up, the kids open their presents from Santa and then lunch is started when we're ready. It is very relaxed and, if we don't eat till 4 then we don't eat till 4.

No arguments! Yes, we actually have a 'no arguing on Christmas' rule. As a child, growing up with parents who were constantly at each others' throats was pretty gruelling. But Christmas day was the one day that they were able to put their differences aside and stop their fighting so my brother and I could have a nice day. Although DH and I are very different, we still do have our disagreements but, on Christmas, they are put aside and we let the little things go.

I remember my Mum being very stressed over Christmas, to the point where there were nearly always tears before breakfast. I would hate to be like that and so I just take a far more relaxed apprach to things than my Mother used to.

I love Christmas
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:51 AM   #4
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This year we are spending as much time with the people we love as we can.

I would like to say I am stress free but I'm up at 3 in the morning so I guess I am a little stressed.

Presents not that important. Dh and I will not exchange. We were wasting money every year. Bah humbug. I am really trying to control the spending on the kids as well.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:59 AM   #5
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We did away with gifts for everyone except our own kids. We turned the family gift exchange into an ornament exchange, lots of fun, inexpensive and stress free.

The family alcoholic is no longer within driving distance so we don't have to put up with that. When the call came that they wanted to fly down and visit we said no, we had other plans.

Decorating has been minimal - downsized on tree and not decorating the house.

No baking or cooking, we are going out to dinner.

Our kids are older so we are no longer on the hunt for the "It" toy of the year
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamacatnv View Post

Our kids are older so we are no longer on the hunt for the "It" toy of the year
Thanks all for all the replies. Lots of ideas.
This quote above, I love. I forgot about that. I have absolutely no idea what the current craze is and so happy I'm not running around looking for it.
Was so grateful that none of my kids liked the Cabbage Patch dolls. I did have to hunt and did know all of the characters to HeMan though. I bought the grayskull castle and all that good stuff.
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:01 AM   #7
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Nothing. I'm going to read this whole thread because for the first time in a long, long time, I'm feeling big Christmas stress. I think it has to do with other parts of our lives being out of balance.
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:31 AM   #8
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I'm probably going to cut down on the amount of baking I do. That stresses me out more than anything..trying to get it all done as close to Christmas as I can.

I love putting the trees up but I will also cut back on the amount of decorating I do around the house.

And I will try to stay out of the stores as much as possible! I feel sorry for store clerks this time of year. I couldn't handle it!

TC
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:35 AM   #9
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No tree or outdoor decorations, We do have a few decorations inside that DH put out an that was fine. NO shopping for gifts the kids an Gkids live 900 miles away they can do their own shopping an save us the expense an stress of it gettin lost.
If DH remembers the M&M's he bought I'll make a few cookies if not I'm forgetting them too as my sugar has been out of control as it is.
Christmas Day I'm frying oysters whatever time we feel like eating them.

We will prolly Skype Christmas mornin with the kids an Gkids when we get tired of it we can shut down the puter an be done with it. Unlike the Christmas we went to DD's house thinkin when we got tired of the hoopla that we could go home. DD an family followed us the 5 mins home. GRRRRRRRRRRRRR
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:44 AM   #10
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We stopped exchanging gifts with most of the family years ago. That eliminated a great deal. On my side we do one big grab bag with everybody from Grandma all the way down to my cousin's baby. I do not exchange with my nieces, nephews, siblings or their spouses unless we get them in the grab bag.

On DH's side we only exchange with my three nieces. Not my in-laws, his sister and her husband etc.

It makes for a great season. So much less stress.

Also for Christmas when we all get together - POT LUCK!!! Last year I had 28 people at my house and the only thing I did was the ham and make sure we had drinks, plates, condiments, coffee etc.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sissy_ib View Post
Then I decided not to be upset that I knew what the two presents under the tree for me were. (I gave my husband a list and I can tell from the shape what they are)
I'm sorry. I have read and reread your post several times now and I'm stumped.

You're trying not to be upset because your husband bought you two things off the list that YOU wanted because you know what they are? Was he not supposed to buy you things off the list?

It's no wonder some people get stressed over the holidays.

For me, I'm having a completely no-stress season.

Decorated a tree, but didn't go all out with decorating in general

No cookie baking. OK, I might do ONE cookie if I want to. If I don't feel like it, the world will not end.

Gift giving cut down significantly.

Only thing I have to stress about is what to serve my boys for Christmas dinner. Maybe we'll just do take-out or finger foods.
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:14 PM   #12
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I'm sorry. I have read and reread your post several times now and I'm stumped.

You're trying not to be upset because your husband bought you two things off the list that YOU wanted because you know what they are? Was he not supposed to buy you things off the list?

It's no wonder some people get stressed over the holidays.
I was not upset he bought me what I asked for, I didn't say that or imply it. It just kinda sucks I know what they are already and have for about two weeks. It would just be nice if he could surprise me once in a while. If he wrapped the gifts in a manor that I did not instantly know what they were that would be nice. He did the same thing with one of my gifts last year. What is the point of wrapping it and putting it under the tree weeks early if the receiver knows what it is?
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:27 PM   #13
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I was not upset he bought me what I asked for, I didn't say that or imply it. It just kinda sucks I know what they are already and have for about two weeks. It would just be nice if he could surprise me once in a while. If he wrapped the gifts in a manor that I did not instantly know what they were that would be nice. He did the same thing with one of my gifts last year. What is the point of wrapping it and putting it under the tree weeks early I the receiver knows what it is?
I understand how you feel. I used to feel the same way.

I wanted to be surprised, it couldn't be anything for the house, I wanted something I could "show off" at work, etc. etc. --- I learned to let all that go.

I also learned to tell him up front that I wanted one gift, it didn't matter the cost, that he took the time to think about and find something he thought I would really want. Some years he gets a list, some years he doesn't. But, once I let go of all my "stipulations"; it helped him to be able to pick something out. It doesn't matter if the gift cost $10 or $1000 (well it does to the budget, but you know what I mean); its just the thought that he puts into it.
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:33 PM   #14
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I understand how you feel. I used to feel the same way.

I wanted to be surprised, it couldn't be anything for the house, I wanted something I could "show off" at work, etc. etc. --- I learned to let all that go.

I also learned to tell him up front that I wanted one gift, it didn't matter the cost, that he took the time to think about and find something he thought I would really want. Some years he gets a list, some years he doesn't. But, once I let go of all my "stipulations"; it helped him to be able to pick something out. It doesn't matter if the gift cost $10 or $1000 (well it does to the budget, but you know what I mean); its just the thought that he puts into it.
Thank you. I learned to let all that go this year as well.
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:32 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by sissy_ib View Post
I was not upset he bought me what I asked for, I didn't say that or imply it. It just kinda sucks I know what they are already and have for about two weeks. It would just be nice if he could surprise me once in a while. If he wrapped the gifts in a manor that I did not instantly know what they were that would be nice. He did the same thing with one of my gifts last year. What is the point of wrapping it and putting it under the tree weeks early I the receiver knows what it is?

The key to a stressfree holiday is not letting yourself get all wound up over gifts. Last year he surprised you and you didn't like the gifts. This year you are getting exactly what you wanted and you still aren't happy because it isn't a surprise. It seems like he is trying but instead, you feel he is just trying your patience.

You cannot change other people. You cannot make them do things the way you think they should be done. What you can do is change the way that you respond. If you are old enough to have a SO, you don't have to be surprised by Santa. Relax and enjoy life.
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