Christmas stress

How to Avoid the Last Minute Holiday Rush

Trim the tree, send the cards, invite the relatives (or book the plane tickets), put up the lights…  The list goes on and on.  The Holiday Season is here and it can be either exciting or overwhelming.  Or a little of both.

Don’t get caught rushing around hunting for last minute gifts.  While this adage holds true every year, this year it’s especially important.  Many businesses are short on labor, U.S. ports are frantically unloading shipping containers filled with thousands of would-be gifts sitting in their cargo holds.  Stores are selling out of popular items and if you’re counting on priority shipping through the postal service or Amazon, you’re in good company. 

Here are some ideas to ease the stress

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Shop Early

While you should be shopping for gifts year round and stashing them in your special gifting closet or shelf (let’s call it a Gift Stash), it’s a bit late for that now.  What you can do is make a list of everyone you will gift and come up with ideas.  List one or two gift ideas per person.  Once you have your list, start shopping online or in stores and order now.  You can even wrap and tag the gifts before putting them into your Gift Stash and you’ll alleviate one more thing to do.

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Shop Local

Maybe there’s a cute boutique you drive by every day that you’ve never visited.  Many local merchants struggled to stay open during the pandemic.  Drop by and see if there’s anything on your list available.  You’ll be helping a local business as well as crossing something off your list.

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Give Experiences

Many of us went over a year without going to a theatre, seeing a movie, or live music.  Most venues are now open, so why not give the gift of tickets to a play, a holiday concert, or the local movie theater?  You won’t have to worry about shipping delays and many venues offer electronic tickets that can be sent through email to long distance friends and families.

Photo by Anete Lusina


There is no such thing as a “perfect” holiday season, so don’t beat yourself up trying to create one. In fact, trying to be perfect can create issues such as headaches, body aches, anxiety, and insomnia. So relax, take good care of yourself, and have a Merry Christmas!

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