The true spirit of the holiday season has very little to do with your gourmet capabilities, hands-y TSA agents or social calendars bursting to near implosion. Alas, these are the pressures we willingly and not-so-willingly hoist upon ourselves for a seven week period every year’s end.

Dear readers, please release yourselves from your own expectations. You’re perfect to us just as you are.

In the off chance that’s not enough, we present our solutions to managing common holiday stressors.

Stressful: Travel.

Solution: Download an audio book you’ve been itching to read, and map out a potential mid-way stopping point (hotel, camping, friend’s couch). Let all your people know that you have a Plan B, in case of flight delays, traffic or if you hit a reindeer-drawn sleigh en route. The simple act of having a back-up plan reduces the pressure to “get there.”

Stressful: Overeating.

Solution: It’s not even the tighter waistband that’s worrisome; it’s the lethargy from a cookie-based diet that wears you down. Don’t bother focusing on what not to eat in the midst of the holiday bounty. Instead, continually refresh a huge salad packed with yummy nutrients in the fridge. Pack it for lunch or eat a small filler salad before you go to a party. Enjoy the holiday foods with the comfort that you’ve nourished yourself well.

Stressful: Gift-giving.

Solution: Everyone has a different philosophy and a different budget, but we’re always fans of offering experiences instead of stuff that people will eventually grow out of. Travel? Photography class? Tuesday night standing date to hike your favorite trail together?

Stressful: The party you dread attending, but have run out of excuses not to.

Solution: Read snippets from your favorite authors every day for a week before the party. Work the room with sparkling conversation and ideas that don’t revolve around the weather, work or fruitcake recipes.

We hope our tips will help you stay in the true spirit of the holidays, surrounded by family, joy and the happiness found in giving. We also hope you’re surrounded by warmth – courtesy of Nikwax, good friends and a crackling fire. Above all, if you’re present in the moment, trust what you’re giving is enough.

Happy Holidays!



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