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Wipe Out Holiday Stress

The holidays are quickly approaching, and good times fill our heads.  Loved ones share meals together, laugh together, and celebrate blessings together.

Yet, the holidays can also be a time of angst, particularly for individuals hosting gatherings or obliging overnight guests.  Since unease can hinder happiness, here are some suggestions that may be useful.


Request that others pitch in

Perhaps Thanksgiving has been held at your home for years, and that is just the way it is done in your family.  Even so, the thought is becoming more daunting as each year passes.  You’re still eager to open your home to gather in thanks, but you need help.  Well, kindly request assistance from everyone attending.  Hosts sometimes feel traditions must stay the same, but energy levels can change and desires can change.  What worked for us five or ten years ago may not work for us today.  So, in lieu of doing the lion’s share of the cooking, ask your nephew to bring the mashed potatoes and peas, your daughter to bring the candied yams and corn, your son to bring the ice cream and dessert, and your sister to bring the soda and wine: you’ll make the turkey and biscuits.  Each necessary food/drink item brought in to your home means less work for you, and you probably won’t end up with surplus brownies landing in your garbage pail.  Another thought?  When cleanup time comes, ask (or allow) every person to pitch in.  Amazingly, the job will get done so quickly!  Granted, it could be somewhat bumpy the first year you implement the newer measures.  But, as time goes by, helping out will become second nature to everyone.  Then, instead of feeling overwhelmed, you’ll take pleasure in the joyous occasion!


Explain the rules

Some individuals lodge with loved ones during the holidays, especially when visiting from out-of-town.  With little doubt, this can be a precious bonding experience.  However, it can also result in unexpected behaviors and hard feelings.  The important thing to keep in mind?  When you are accommodating guests in your home, you make the rules.  Naturally, it’s unlikely you will hand out a rules sheet as visitors walk through the doorway.  Yet, in as gracious a manner as possible, make clear your preferences.  Occasionally when we invite others to stay with us, we place our own desires in the background because we want everyone to feel comfortable.  Still, some personality types view this as a cue to control.  Afterwards, the host becomes apprehensive asking valid questions like, “Did you turn the space heater off in the upstairs bedroom?”  And, should the guest come across snappy while answering, resentment is sure to follow.  Okay, in fairness to everyone, few people want to stay with anyone delegating unreasonable requests. Nonetheless, even fewer want to spend their holiday time cleaning, cooking meals, changing bed linens, and preparing for parties only to hear inconsiderate visitors assert they do not want to wake up early on their time off, so others in the house should remain quiet.  The key piece to take away?  The host has every right to make his or her desires known.  And, if guests are displeased with the rules as presented, there’s a lovely hotel up the street.

The above ideas are meant for ones who encounter anxiety when hosting a get-together.  On the other hand, as the cliché goes, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.”

Keep in mind the holidays are a time for cheer.  When everyone works together, everyone enjoys!