Quick: When you think about the holidays, what are you picturing? Particular foods or meals to prepare? Decorations to put up? People you must see or buy gifts for? The most stressful part of the holidays can be our expectations. Before diving in on autopilot, ask yourself a few questions: 1) Who am I really doing this for? Try asking family members what matters most to them. 2) If I don't do this, who will miss it? We often cling to outgrown traditions because we mis-read others' expectations. 3) What's the most meaningful part of the holiday for me? Preserve the essence of it (time with family? holiday music?) and this year, let go of trappings and trimmings that add more stress than joy.
-- Paula Spencer Scott