The Keyword This Year is "Simplify"

The holidays are always a hectic time, so it’s especially important to be realistic about what you can and cannot do. Finding creative ways to simplify things like holiday shopping, cooking, gift-giving, and decorating will help reduce stress on many levels.

If you have always cooked a big holiday meal, consider hosting a potluck dinner and inviting a few family and friends to bring their favorite dishes—or ask someone else to host the dinner. Have a tree trimming party and invite friends to help you decorate the Christmas tree. Ask each person to bring an ornament and a dessert, or make popcorn and use it to decorate the tree. Decide on a few simple outdoor decorations or just hang a wreath on the door. Instead of buying lots of gifts, which may exceed your budget, give homemade gifts or crafts, baked goods, or handmade cards with personal messages in them. Consider trimming your gift list to family and a few close friends. Buy small, inexpensive gifts and wrap them in creative packages. Ask family members to draw names rather than buying for everyone. And if you’re pressed for time, shop online for gifts that can be wrapped and sent directly to the people on your gift list.

Whatever you do this holiday season, remember that you don’t have to do it alone. Your heavenly Father is watching over you always; he delights when you come to him for help.

For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. (Isaiah 41:13)

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