During the holidays, you’ve got meals to cook, family to entertain, parties to attend, presents to buy, decorations to hang, and the list goes on.  Instead of feeling panicked and overwhelmed, try some of the suggestions below for a holiday season that’s a little more festive and a LOT less crazy.

H – Have a plan. 
Spend about 20 minutes looking at your calendar for the next few weeks.  Book appointments with yourself to do your shopping, buy the tree, do the baking etc.

O – Overcommit, DON’T DO IT!
You don’t have to say yes to every invitation.  Decide ahead of time how many parties you are going to attend.  Also, don’t feel like you have to be the one to organize the teacher gift, class holiday party, and your family gift exchange.

L – Limits, Set Them and Stick To Them.
Set a predetermined amount for what you will spend on gifts and the number of people you will be buying for.  Apply limits to your time and effort as well.  Is it really worth it to drive to 5 different stores looking for the perfect gift or to spend hours wrapping gifts just to make the outside beautiful?

I – Inventory. 
Take stock of what you already have on hand – decorations, wrapping paper, holiday cooking supplies, etc. Before you head out to the store you’ll know what you have on hand, and won’t make the mistake of buying more than you need or doubling up.

D – Donate.
Instead of feeling obligated to buy gifts for people, make a donation in their name.  Or bring your children to a giving tree and then take them with you to buy a gift for a needy child.  It’s a lesson you cannot teach them early enough.

A – Ask for help.
Instead of taking on an entire meal, go potluck and ask guests to bring something.  Or ask your mom to watch the kids for a few hours so you can do your shopping in peace.  People enjoy feeling needed, and you get the benefit of a break.

Y – You!  Make time for yourself.
Keep up your exercise routine, spend time with your favorite book, or schedule a massage at your favorite spa.  You’ll feel much more invigorated if you make