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To make it happen though we have to do some planning ahead, budget some times for the events, and make sure we have all the supplies needed at the right time. Therefore, your Halloween assignment for the week is to consider these questions, and take steps to make sure you get these things done:. If you are carving pumpkins make sure you take into account how quickly pumpkins begin to rot after they are carved, to make sure you don't do it too soon if you want to use the pumpkin on Halloween night.

Also, begin to think of what food you want to serve, if any, as part of the annual after trick or treat event at your home. Make a list of all the food and non-food supplies you need, and buy them little by little if you can buy them early. For example, I like to serve a pretty big dinner before we go trick or treating, so the kids aren't too hungry for too much candy.

I like to serve this spaghetti and meatballs recipe. In addition, I also like to serve hot apple cider afterwards since they are generally cold when they come back inside. If some of the supplies and ingredients you need for your Halloween traditions won't spoil go ahead and start buying a few each time you are at the store, to help cushion your budget.

Being prepared and not spending too much are both great ways to have a stress free holiday. For the last couple of weeks I have asked you to consider your Christmas list, including who you want to give gifts too, and ideas for those gifts.

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Now is the final week where we all finalize our lists, because you will set a Christmas budget. Ideally, you have been saving some money each month already for Christmas presents. If not, don't worry, just begin in January to put a little back each month to keep yourself from feeling stretched for cash during the holiday season for next year. For this year, just make sure your budget considers how much you can save in just a month or two.

Be realistic for your budget, and don't spend too much. The point of the holidays is to be with family and friends, not to be the biggest spender. Spending too much is a sure way to feel stressed out. Make sure your budget includes all of the following, at least, to make sure it accurately reflects how much you truly plan to spend this season:. Really think ahead to what you plan to do this holiday season, so you are not caught by surprise with an expense that really should have been foreseeable.

Once you have a realistic budget you can prepare appropriately for the holidays, by setting aside enough money. I do not encourage anyone to put their holidays on a credit card, unless you can pay it back in full when the bill comes, because otherwise you are not really going to have a stress free holiday when January rolls around. In addition to preparing the list of items you plan to buy or make yourself, also make sure you brainstorm some additional gifts you can suggest to others, if they ask, for your children, spouse, or even yourself.

I'm not talking about trying to be greedy here, but instead about giving people good suggestions if they ask for them.

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Make sure you know your kids' current clothing and shoe sizes in case you are asked, and identify any real needs or desires they might have for clothing, toys, books, games, etc. Treat it as your Christmas Stress First Aid kit! Make a note of the decisions, choices and strategies that really work for you. Are you ready to get started? But, believe it or not, most of us forget to do either of these things, before we make changes in our life.


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Without figuring out where we are and having a clear idea of where we want to end up, the likelihood of finishing at our dream destination is zero! Figuring this out gives you a massive head start on dealing with your stress triggers and having a happier, calmer Christmas. It helps you focus and make practical changes that will really shift things for you. Strategies While I was researching this book, I did a survey, asking people what was stressing them about getting ready for Christmas.

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Of course, there were plenty of other stress sources. But credit crunch or no, most people were stressed about not having enough time. No longer is it enough just to give gifts and spend time with those we love. The great news is that there are ways to claw back your time — and even make some extra — to reduce your Christmas stress levels. So this section includes 14 different ways you can juggle life and find more time to fit everything in.

Ready to get your life in order and start getting more done?

Strategies 25 — 50 Christmas has a way of creating stress and drama that few other times of year can manage. It sends us into super-stress faster than you could wink at a flying bat and keeps us there until long into the New Year. So I thought it might be useful to share with you a whopping 28 strategies for staying sane this Christmas. They are a mixture of physical exercises and simple breathing techniques that you can do in less than five minutes, to help you shift that stress.

So here are 13 fast and effective ways to dump the Christmas stress when it comes to presents, cards and decorating. These 28 strategies will help you keep your cool , even if family war breaks out in your front room or the roast potatoes turn to cinders. So seriously, in fact, that finding enough fridge space is one of our main sources of worry at Christmas time. Deep clean your fridge and freezer in preparation and you - and all your hungry guests - will be safe in the knowledge that there's enough space to store all that deliciousness.

Brandy, hot cocoa, cherryade - Christmas just wouldn't be the same without a cupboard full of the family's favourite tipples. The prospect of not being able to cater for everyone's favourite beverages is actually one of the main stresses at Christmas, which just goes to show how seriously Grandad takes his gin. Make sure you're prepared for whoever drops in by stocking up well in advance. There's nothing more stressful than spending Christmas Even stood over the ironing board or washing machine.


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Make sure you're able to join in with the family Christmas cheer the night before by keeping on top of the laundry on the lead up to the big day. The one you've all been waiting for - the big, deep clean before all our guests and their 'onlooking' eyes arrive. Make this mammoth task less stressful by breaking it down into task and scheduling them out over a week. That way the prospect willl seem much less daunting. Of course, deep down we know this is true, but we often feel pressure to make our houses look as beautiful as possible during the festive season.

If you're guilty of frantically rushing out to buy every bauble in sight as the big day nears, planning in advance is probably a good idea. Check what decorations you already have in storage and it will help you stay calm and collected when buying new ones. The beauty - and stress - of Christmas often comes from the unscheduled drop-ins of family and friends.

It's difficult to throw things together and make things hospitable at the flick of a switch, and whilst your guests will probably be happy with anything, chances are you'll want everything to be just right. You can easily make such occasions stress-free by getting a few things together before such occasions arise.

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Fill a chest full of spare sheets and towels for any ad hoc drop-ins, stock up on toiletries, and clear some wardrobe space so your visitors feel as welcome as you intend them to. Christmas is the one time of year when you can expect an impromptu drop in from literally anyone who's ever known you. Not only that, but you're obliged to welcome the guests - whether you recognise them or not - with the appropriate snacks and nibbles - it's not wonder having enough food is one of our main Christmas worries!

You may no longer have little ones running around at home normally, but at Christmas this is likely to change. We all know the joy children can bring, but it's not always easy to appreciate when you're in the middle of cooking dinner for Make sure there's always something to occupy the little and big ones this year by placing a selection of family favourite games on show.


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It will help keep them quite and you calm when concentration is required. There's nothing as devastating as starting Christmas Day dinner only to realise you've forgotten to buy the most lusted-after ingredient - Yorkshire puddings, and lots of them. Avoid stressing over forgotten ingredients by writing your shopping list now. You should probably check it at least ten times too, you know, just to be sure.

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Which is the task that stresses you out the most over Christmas? Let me know in the comments below and I'll do my best to help you through it! I look to satisfy my tastes without obliterating my budget. Wannabe interior designer, I'm an avid cushion cover maker and charity shop hunter. I don't stress over Christmas, like your article suggests I do as much prep before hand as I can.

I also prepare the veg on Christmas Eve. For the roast potatoes I par boil them, let them cool, cover and put them in the fridge so they just need to go in the oven. Hi Cheryl. It's good to hear that you manage your tasks well enough to enjoy a stress-free Christmas. Preparing the veg and potatoes is a great idea - I bet your Christmas dinner it one to remember!