There is one thing most of us will agree on this holiday season; and no, it isnÕt what to buy that difficult person on your shopping list or whoÕs house we will gather for the Christmas Day feast. No, itÕs not whether to have a real or artificial tree, in what corner of the room to put it, or whether itÕs colored or white lights. ItÕs not the hour on Christmas Eve youÕve decided to make the kids go to bed or whoÕs gonna hold their head when there throwing up. And no itÕs not about fruitcake, or plum pudding, holiday plays or the existence of old Saint Nick. ItÕs about the fact that weÕre STRESSED. Stressed to the max is the most recent coined phrase. I canÕt imagine why..?!


The answers can be as easy or complex as we want to make them. HereÕs one way of looking at things. All of life, everyday, day in and day out is a series of events that stress us. Some things are good stressors some are not. If those everyday stressors add up to be the not so good kind, we find adding even the smallest of chores to the list is just too much.


There are several ways to deal with stress during the holidays, but itÕs preferable if you have already dealt with some of your daily stress before the big event. Why didnÕt I write this article in September, because you wouldnÕt have listened? YouÕre reading this now in the hopes that I will have some magic answer that will keep you from shooting the rude sales clerk at the mall and spending the rest of your days in jail; children fatherless, wife homeless.


Some of your stress you wonÕt have control over-bosses, time schedules, balanced with other commitments to family and friends. But one can learn to say no to other less important things when our hearts are not it. If itÕs not fun and your heart is not in it, does anyone really gain from that experience?


When our health and energy are good we naturally deal better with stress. Start by providing your body with the fuel it needs, simple nutritious foods, clean water, enough sleep and light exercise.


Spend some time in caring for and feeding of soul and spirit. Read something inspirational, go to church, give to your favorite charity, volunteer your time.


Hate shopping? Hey itÕs the twenty-first century why not utilize some of that technology to help you save your sanity. Most Internet stores will gift-wrap and mail you selections directly. Greeting included.


Last but not least remember to smile and laugh. Laughter is infectious; a smile costs nothing and is beyond price.


Take care of yourself and remember to be thankful for your health if nothing else, even if itÕs not perfect it can usually be improved upon! Happy Holidays to all my readers, Rebecca