e’ve all seen the Hallmark commercials and the Christmas movies guaranteed to put a lump in your throat and bring tears to your eyes.  We’ve been moved by the beauty in snow-covered Christmas scenes, marveled at Christmas displays, and we’ve felt that funny little catch in our hearts as we think about what our friends and family mean to us, in this, the season of giving.

As a result of all this glitz, sparkle, all the perfect Christmas scenes and shows, we develop an unrealistic picture of what the holidays should be and how they should be celebrated.

Did you know that the Christmas holidays have also been called the season of stress?  One of the major causes of Christmas stress is not planning the holiday in advance, so that when the day draws closer, you feel caught off guard.

Year after year, we swear we’re going to get an earlier start, we’re going to plan ahead, and yet each year Christmas is the same frantic holiday, complete with a break-neck pace of buying, wrapping, (in my house this usually happens on Christmas Eve), cooking, baking and parties, all guaranteed to over-extend our time and nerves.

You can still have the kind of holiday you really desire to have, all it takes is some advance planning. Everything, from choosing the gifts (and getting them wrapped) to all of the delicious meals, and the work-related events; no wonder it can get stressful!  Add church gatherings and special services and it’s enough to make even the jolliest person wish Christmas would hurry up and just pass.

If you’re dreading the overwhelming tasks ahead of you this holiday season, don’t despair.  You can have the kind of Christmas you want without raising your blood pressure and without becoming so tired you feel like you just can’t function.  You need a game plan to map out the holiday step-by-step, and I can help you with that game plan.

Over the next week I will be sharing ways to take the stress out of the holiday season. If you would like more tips, and recipes, check out my Christmas e-book, An Old Fashioned Christmas.