Investing in Family: De-Stressing During the Holidays

Investing in Family: De-Stressing During the Holidays

I don't know what there is about holidays, but sometimes they can have the uncanny knack to bring us copious amounts of stress. Maybe it's the travel hassle of getting to Aunt Margaret's house, or maybe it's three days of prep work followed by a nine hour marathon in the kitchen preparing the annual feast. Whatever it is, everyone seems to have their own brand of stress that comes on what could be a relaxing holiday filled with family togetherness. If you find your stress level rising as you gear up for this year's Turkey Day, here are some ideas that just might help calm you down.

Kitchen and Meal Help

If you're the one everyone counts on to truss the turkey, there's no getting around spending time in the kitchen slicing and dicing. It really can be a hefty challenge to get a special meal on the table, hot and ready for the masses. If this is your point of stress, try reaching out to the other guests for some aid. This help could come in a variety of ways: you prepare the main dish (turkey) and ask everyone else to supply the sides; you enlist a few willing hands to help make your work lighter and delegate who chops this and who sautes that; you put the kiddos in charge of the housekeeping and decorating while you cook. You get the idea. Don't be afraid to reach out; chances are, you'll find someone who's very willing to help and waiting for your point in the right direction.

Or, and I've been tempted by this many a holiday, you could take the ultimate help and order your meal from the local grocer or restaurant. Every year in my neck of the woods, two local stores advertise a complete meal that will feed X amount of people for a pretty reasonable price. While it may seem outrageous paying a price like that for one meal, consider what you'll probably be spending at the store to make the feast happen. You'll probably be surprised to find that it's around the same amount. If it takes a load of stress off of you and you're still providing a meal for family and friends, then it's a win-win situation.

Have a Laugh

Some of the funniest episodes of any show I've ever watched were the Thanksgiving-themed episodes of "Everybody Loves Raymond." In one, Debra, Ray's wife, has decided to serve fish in place of turkey at the holiday dinner; her mother-in-law takes it upon herself to bring over a huge, cooked turkey, and this is after Ray gives the fish a steam in the dishwasher. Another episode showed Debra, a pretty small gal, wrestling with a turkey in her attempt to get it to the oven. Pure hilarity!

The point in this small trip down TV memory lane? Whatever your role is in this year's Thanksgiving, why not carve out twenty minutes to have a good laugh? Laughter really can do wonders in easing stress, and sometimes the message underneath the comedy coating can help you put things in your life and situation into perspective.

The holidays do not have to be a source of major stress for us. Give yourself a break, grab some help and laugh it up this Thanksgiving! And from our MomVesting family to yours, have a wonderful holiday.

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