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He knows if you've been sleeping, if you're awake ... and if you're going mental.

Santa, how can we reduce the stress and angst that often comes with the season?

Santa knows if you've been sleeping, if you're awake ... and if you're going mental.

1. Keep expectations reality-based. Do what you can do. Keep yourself well-rested, nourished and hydrated . . .this prevents the crankies from creeping in. If you are finding yourself getting cranky, then you're doing more that you can do and simply slow it down, rest, and reevaluate. Tip: No wine. No whine.

2. Plan things with a calendar. This really helps to keep muscle in your hustle-and-bustle as you stay organized. Just glance at a day or two at a time. Don't look over a whole week, much less the entire month or you're going to get stressed and overwhelmed. Lists, too, are helpful, and often necessary, but keep it all realistic. Tip: Check it twice.

3. Gift-giving. Perspective is often lost during the Holiday Season, so remember to employ your use of it. Keep the whole idea of gift-giving in its proper perspective. Keep it simple, keep it real and don't forget to remember that gifts don't define. If money is scarce, the best gift of all is the gift of your time. You can spend, spend, spend but remember that it's the minutes you're spending with the ones you love that is the truly priceless gift. Tip: Don't re-gift that damn peach candle.

4. Personalize your holiday. Make this annual holiday your very own. Make it personal. Don't compare yours to others. Celebrate your holidays in a way that will keep you warm all through winter. Make memories. Tip: ...but don't kiss ALL the Mommy's under the mistletoe. That's a bit too personal.

5. Have fun. Don't go mental.


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