~One from the archives.  Enjoy!~
 
Here's some ways to keep yourself sane (sort of) through this crazy but fun time of year. 
 
10.)Keep your schedule realistic – If you’re booked for 7 holiday parties, a blood donation, a toy drive and five family visits, you may want to take a look at your schedule and your sanity.  You can’t do it all at once, sorry.  You risk getting yourself ill or worn out.  Even worse, you could totally loose the holiday spirit, which is no fun for anyone.
 
9.) Give personal gifts instead of just fruitcake – be creative!  This may be tough around the holidays (like you don’t have enough to do) but use your talents for gifts!  Do a numerology report, create a wonderful gift basket, put together a beautiful flower arrangement that they can keep year round – whatever showcases your talent while making gift giving even easier on you! 
 
8.) Plan your get togethers after the holidays.  Less traffic, less hassle, fewer headaches and less money – wow, lots of positives!  Put a date on the calendar now for the get together in January or February – here’s something to look forward to after the holiday craziness.
 
7.) Shop Online!  Lots of bargains free shipping and hard to find collectibles helps you avoid the malls and give an awesome gift.  Who doesn’t like shopping in your sweats and fuzzy slippers?
 
6.) Leave yourself plenty of time to get around town.  Nothing causes more stress than traffic.  Give yourself some extra time to get places so if you hit traffic, you don’t worry.  Yes, it may mean setting the alarm earlier but you’ll thank yourself when you’re early or even on time for where you’re going. 
 
5.)  Give to someone you don’t know.  Whether or not it’s someone less fortunate or a charity that means a lot to you, there is nothing like making a donation of money, time or toys to help you understand what the true meaning of giving is all about. 
 
4.) Be positive to everyone – even those scrooges out there.  This time of year brings out the best in some, the worst in others.  You’ll see and hear some real negativity from folks, which can also include family.  Change the subject when someone is negative, bring up a positive spin on the negativity they are sending your way or send love and light to them, asking spirit to embrace them.  Most importantly, stay positive yourself and let the negative ideas roll off your back.
 
3.) Call a friend who you’ve lost touch with over time.  It happens, our lives get busy or we switch jobs, whatever happens, we lose touch with friends.  If you can, pick up the phone and call someone to catch up.  You’ll be surprised how much you’ve been missed and you’ve missed them!
 
2.) Get lots of hugs from those who love you.  A warm hug can be one of the most relaxing and loving acts in the world.  Give someone an extra hug – spread the love and happiness around – oh, and it’s free! 
 
1.) Take care of you!  You say, oh sure Mary, how can I do that?  I still have to shop, wrap presents, see a ton of people, cook and clean – so how can I take care of me?  It’s the little things that make you feel better.  Lie in a tub for a little while, catch a movie, get something great to eat, read a good book – I don’t mean for hours.  Give yourself even a half an hour a day to relax; it will make a difference in coping with stress. 
 
Good luck handling the holidays – make sure you take care of those you love but most importantly, don’t forget how much you love you.  Put yourself on the top of the list of someone to be good to this year.   
 
Copyright 2006, Mary D'Alba