Holiday stress relief has arrived

This is the time of year when we experience many emotions while considering all the activities and celebrations ahead. There is much to do during this time, and because of last year’s inertia, the holiday scene can seem even more daunting.

But fear not! I have some suggestions that might help!

Thanksgiving and then Christmas can be wonderful times of the year, but we often take on too much. It should not be an exhausting time, and if we plan right, we can do some things to help ease the stress.

Since food is the major component, don’t wear out trying to be creative. I already know we won’t be eating tacos or lasagna. Some of you enjoy steak or shrimp, others, beef on the grill. Whatever you enjoy, don’t wear yourself out searching out new recipes when you know what the family expects. It’s futile.

Regarding gifts. Food is always a welcome gift for adults – jars of fancy mixed nuts, chocolates, meat, gift food packages. Don’t deviate if this has worked for you in the past. Don’t forget money. It’s a winner.

Next, decorating. As I drag out the decorations and stash away the fall and Thanksgiving, I will get rid of some items, now! You won’t attack this chore in the summer, I assure you.

I plan to give away any Christmas items that I have not used for let’s say, three years. Someone else will cherish these items, I hope. I will use a handy plastic storage box for unwanted items. 

You have to be in the mood, you know!

The big tree that needs to be put together every year, whose branches are always in need of straightening…that one…I am going to give it away. Eliminating the big tree means lights and decorations must go too. Yes, I think I am going to do this. The little trees will be even more fun to spruce up. 

A television Hallmark Christmas? Only if it pleases you. Then, by all means. But if none really cares, not really, then think. Do you want to measure up with Hallmark? Or concentrate more on visiting and sharing the excitement with the children?

I like Christmas dinnerware during the holidays. During Thanksgiving, I use our good dishes … you know, the ones that our kids don’t care to inherit. If you no longer use those items, into the box they go. More space for you to fill with other things!

Placing the Christmas cups and glasses in the cupboards, I see I have too many everyday glasses. The  Budget store, Thrift store, or Salvation Army could use these. I am going to pare them down and keep only what we need. 

Into the basket, they go! Isn’t this fun? 

This is the only time of the year for this cleansing because otherwise, we ignore it. Our kitchen cupboards have too much of everything; too many bowls, too many glasses, too many measuring cups. Some are going bye-bye and I am going to love the extra space.

Whatever you decide to do, have fun. Don’t overdo. Just do what you can. Happy Thanksgiving!  

Judi Tabler lives in Pawnee County and is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune. She can be reached at

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