Monday, December 15

YA Holiday Survival

I love the holidays. I really do. But let's face it - this time of year can be stressful. There's so much to do! Plus, you're supposed to look joyful and triumphant while doing it. That's a big part of holiday stress, I think - living up to the expectation of what it's supposed to be.

So for today's post, let's share survival tips. What are some of your best strategies for getting through the holidays?

I'll list a few of mine to get us started:

1. Look for something you can do to brighten someone else's holiday.
Test me on it if you don't believe it works, but getting involved in some kind of service is the best way I know to forget about your own stress, plus it has the added benefit of helping someone and it makes you feel great in the process. It's even better if you do it anonymously.

2. Take control. If you have a family gathering looming and you dread the pushy, nosey questions some of your relatives love to dump on you each year, go proactive. Be prepared with topics to steer the conversation. If that doesn't work, have an escape plan in place!

3. READ! Curling up with a great book is another stress reliever. If you'd like book suggestions, we are discussing book gift ideas over on my blog this week and all of the suggestions so far sound fantastic. My TBR list is growing by the day!

So how about you? What are some of your holiday survival strategies?


TJ Brown said...

WE try to do something fun and different every year. Something we can look forward to when the holidays get too stressful. This year, we're going to take a picnic to the park and watch the Christmas ships parade... We've never done it before and it should be a blast. Shaking things up with a new activity always helps.

Alyson Noel said...

Okay, how do I say this without sounding like Scrooge (which I'm not!)?

I don't really participate in the holidays. Maybe it's different when you don't have kids, but I don't decorate, I don't bake, I buy most of my gifts online, and this year, December got away from me to the point where I forgot to send cards!

But all this is to say that my lack of participation actually allows me to enjoy the season stress free! Then a few days after Christmas, my niece and nephew arrive to stay with us for a week, and that's when the fun really begins!

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Diana Rodriguez Wallach said...

I love the mention of the "nosy questions from relatives." I find that when asked, "When are you gonna have kids?" a good diversion is, "I dunno, but we're starting to look at new houses!" Even if it's not true. People love to talk about real estate.

And when asked, "How are the book sales going?" reply with, "Great. I'm thinking of traveling to Poland/Thailand/Tahiti/anywhere exotic." Again, even if it's not true, it successfully changes the subject (this works even better if you pick a place with political strife).

Ann said...

Let's see, for me, I just try to do everything beforehand. I try not to wait until the last minute and try to use up every single given second. It takes away the stress of trying to do everything all at once. Another thing, I do is try to make someone else's holidays better, too! I feel much more relieved and better that I did something this holiday season that really made a difference for someone.


Amanda Ashby said...

I'm like Alyson - I don't do too much holiday stuff. We get a tree and lots of fab presents for the kids, but we never do any fancy cooking or drive ourselves crazy trying to send out a million cards. Which is probably lucky because it's summer over here and it's way too hot to be getting all worked up about anything!!!

Sara Hantz said...

We don't do much for the holiday season, because we have the motel and it's open. I do a bit of baking only because it's a good excuse for me to eat all those things I love. And, as Amanda said, because it's so warm and sunny it doesn't feel remotely festive.

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

I wanted to say I cope with wine, but that didn't seem like a PC thing to say on a teen blog. So I guess I'll go with: I shop at times when there's likely to be the least other shoppers there and I mostly buy books as gifts, so even though the books aren't for me, at least I feel as though I'm spending my money on something I love.

Gerb said...

Teri, that's a great idea. I've never seen the Christmas Ships parade. Sounds like fun.

Alyson, yeah, with kids in school it gets crazy with class parties, concerts, teacher gifts, etc. Enjoy the low-key approach!

Diana, good diversions. They'd have to be blatantly nosey to keep digging for info after those deft sidesteps.

Ann - a kindred spirit! At least, I *plan* to do everything in advance. It seldom works out that way, however...

Amanda, such a wise choice not to get sucked into the holiday madness.

Sarah, I know what you mean. I grew up with a White Christmas every year and now it doesn't seem like Christmas if there's no snow.

Lauren, I'm with you all the way. I shop either early or late to avoid the crowds and I've bought books as gifts almost exclusively this year.

Anonymous said...

Ha. I like the third suggestion. I'm really that fond of the holidays.

Melissa Walker said...

I'm going to the Pocanos with my mom--just us two--so I'm definitely going to employ some strategies. First: physical activity every day to tire us out. Second: A recipe every night for us to cook together. Third: I'm stealing your third, Linda, great books!

TruBlu93 said...

My holidays are usually boring, so I sleep in as long as I can most of the time. I hate waking up without a plan in mind cause I end up wasting the whole day.