The holidays can bring so much joy. Yet it is also one of the most stressful times for people, specifically parents.

Parent Portal wants to help you get ahead of the craziness of the season with some practical tips to help you eliminate stress and maximize the joy of this time of year.

Professional organizer Liz Bremer says “say yes to less.”  

That is a polite suggestion to say “no” more often to all the things happening this month.

Bremer suggests these simple rules for the season:

  • Commit to things you love and that bring you joy
  • Say no to the rest
  • Delegate
  • Have fun

Have your children address your greeting cards to lighten your load. When hosting an event, make it a potluck or have it catered so all the details don’t fall on you, giving you time to enjoy the time together. The major takeaway is don’t take on too much this season. If you are feeling overwhelmed, reach out to someone and talk about how you’re feeling. Always ask for help.

The Mayo Clinic also offers this advice to survive the season:

Set aside differences. Try to accept family members and friends as they are, even if they don't live up to all of your expectations. Set aside grievances until a more appropriate time for discussion. And be understanding if others get upset or distressed when something goes awry. Chances are they're feeling the effects of holiday stress and depression too.

Stick to a budget. Before you go gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend. Then stick to your budget. Don't try to buy happiness with an avalanche of gifts.

Try these alternatives:

  • Donate to a charity in someone's name
  • Give homemade gifts
  • Start a family gift exchange

Here are more resources and ideas. Remember over all to focus on the joy of the season, usually found in the simple things.