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Giving outside the box

The holiday season is in full swing with all that it brings – photos with Santa, late night soirees, company parties, and so much more. With the fun, there is undeniably stress associated with all that needs to get done at this time of year. With that, I got to thinking about ways to minimize this stress.

I’m a huge fan of sharing the holiday spirit and showing generosity and love without buying into the shopping frenzy. Here are some tips to keep your sanity as you check off your holiday to-do list:
  • Stay a step ahead.
  • Instead of frantically scouring the mall in a last-minute dash, keep an eye out for gifts all year long. Not only will you save yourself a lot of stress leading up to the festivities, you can put greater thought into buying something that’s perfect without any pressure.
  • Shop online.
  • Avoid the chaos and browse your favourite stores’ websites from the comfort of your home. You’ll save yourself from the crowds and enjoy the convenience of receiving the items at your very doorstep.
  • Give an experience.
  • Memories will always last much longer than things. Why not give the art lover in your life a membership to a gallery? A cooking lesson for the food lover? A spa treatment for the health nut? The list of possibilities is endless and even more thoughtful if you share the experience together.
  • Do it yourself.
  • Every year I bake countless holiday cookies for friends and family. It’s a wonderful way to get into the festive spirit and share some of myself at the same time. Can’t bake? No problem. Choose from among a long list of DIY items to suit you instead of buying something off-the-shelf.
  • Give a donation.
  • What better time of year to give back than the holidays? There are limitless charities that could benefit from a gift of time or money. Consider making a donation in honour of a loved one. I’ve done so for friends’ children, and though they may wish for a toy instead, my hope is that the gesture makes them aware of their good fortune – value far beyond what anything material could bring.
    How do you manage stress during the holidays?


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