By Diane Forrest
With Thanksgiving under our belts....literally, we are now staring right into the Christmas season. Thanksgiving is a rather calm holiday, gathering at the table eating a huge meal and watching football, how hard is that? No worries about decorating the house or buying presents...just relaxing with family and friends, and hearing the same old stories over and over. This Thanksgiving was different though. The retailers, in their infinite wisdom, decided to begin the shopping season on Thanksgiving Day - not only throwing chaos in a calm day, but ripping employees away from their family time.
This year I did something that I have never done before. I went to Wal-Mart during their "Black Friday" sale that started on Thursday night. There was a good sale on vacuum cleaners, and I needed one, so I said…why not? Big Mistake! I didn’t know that my small town had that many people, and I think most of them were there! The store was so crowded; you could not even walk down the aisle. All the sale items were disguised, and located all over the store, so it was also more of a treasure hunt too. There were people yelling and pushing and grabbing and fighting for bargains, activities that would make even the calmest person stressed. Luckily, a vacuum was not one of the coveted items…so I had little difficulty obtaining one and trying to work my way out of the store.
My next mistake came when my mother encouraged me to go to the midnight opening at the mall. Now I know why they call them "Door Busters" there was such a crowd gathered at the door, that when they finally unlocked the door, I feared the doors were gonna break or at least fall off the hinges. I had imagined that all the folks I had just seen at Wal-Mart had made their way to the mall, so once again, I found myself trapped in a sea of people and unable to move through the store.
Thus the holiday stress had begun. I did get a little shopping out of the way, but now I was faced with decorating the house, getting out Christmas Cards and baking delicious treats for family and friends. Making lists and checking them twice, making sure I had remembered everything and everyone.
The holidays can be a very stressful time, but it is also Stress Free Holiday Month, and below are some tips that will help you make it through the season with your sanity intact. They include:
- Make a list
- Get plenty of rest
- Make a budget
- Ask for help, you don’t have to do it all by yourself
- Take a break, go for a walk, visit a friend, and watch a movie
Just remember its ok if you don't get it all done...chances are nobody will even notice if you forget to send that fruitcake!
Have a stress free month, and Happy Holidays!