The holidays are a wonderful time of year to gather with friends and family and celebrate! But it can also be a really stressful time. Holiday parties, finding the perfect gifts, having the kids out of school, finalizing everything at work before the new year, and preparing the house for relatives can make us lose our minds a little. Here is our guide to staying sane this holiday season.

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Make Your List, and Check it Twice!
We know it’s hard to find the perfect gift for that special someone…and everyone else. When inspiration strikes about the best gifts for family and friends, jot it down or create a note in your phone to keep track of all your amazing ideas.

Stress Free Shopping Tip
There’s nothing more stressful than preparing your traditional holiday meal and realizing you forgot the main ingredient! Your options are limited, forgo it altogether (that’s a new tradition), make a substitution, or battle the last minute shoppers at the store. To make your holiday shopping stress-free, double check all your recipes and create a shopping list. Write down all the ingredients necessary for your recipes and then check to see what you already have on hand before heading to the store. That way, you won’t be frantically searching and shooting off to the store at the last minute.

Silly Stocking Stuffers
This year, fill stockings with more than just sweet treats! There is already so much sugar in all the holiday desserts, so fill up the stockings with fun! While you’re out shopping, keep your eyes out for cute little toys. You can even add the essentials: socks, undies, toothpaste, a new toothbrush, and Chapstick.

Come Home for the Holidays
Leave work at work and really allow yourself to come home for the holidays. It’s stressful trying to get all your work finished before the year is up and things start transitioning, so create a to-do list and prioritize what really needs to get done before the holidays and what can wait. Trust us, it’ll be worth it to forget work and head home for the holidays to spend quality time with family.

Get Moving!
Take advantage of your time off and get active! Spend time with family and go on a walk or play in a park together. Exercise helps to reduce stress and it also has the added advantage of helping to battle the holiday weight gain. Check your local trails for a family friendly hike or take the bikes out to view all the holiday decorations in nearby neighborhoods.

Last Minute Gift Ideas
Stock up on extra “one size fits all” gifts in case you get invited to a holiday party or an unexpected visitor shows up for dinner. Good ideas include: scented candles, skin care gift sets, flavored olive oils, a bottle of wine, and coffee mugs. And while you’re at it, grab a few extra gift bags and festive bows for wrapping up your extra presents.

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