Recipe for a stress-free holiday season

This recipe for a stress-free holiday is my favorite. I’ve created it over the past few decades, adjusting as the seasons went by. I hope you will enjoy it too!


Just enough time with friends and family
Plenty of rest
Downsized shopping list
Reasonable holiday menu
Daily routine to stay grounded
Release of expectation


Start with the finest ingredients: the people you love! Make sure to spend time with them. Now, to keep the intergenerational family gatherings from driving you crazy, remember this: people from different generations tend to see things differently. ‘Tis the season to reflect on how the things that unite us are much greater than those that seem to divide.
Mix in regular intervals of rest. In spite of the busy-ness of the season, rest and relaxation are as important as ever. Use your paring-down knife to keep things in balance: If your shopping list is wearing you out, pare it down. Do the same with your décor and invitations. Because you can’t give from an empty cup!
Adjust your expectations. There once was an issue of a spoof magazine, the Onion or Spy, that read: “Is Martha Stewart Living?” Great question. Yes, she is, and with a huge staff of helpers! I tried making whipped cream with a whisk as she did on TV. My arm got tired, so I switched to an electric mixer. Now I use the can. Life is short, and we should spend it doing what we want to do. If that’s living up to an image of perfection, we probably need to adjust our expectations.
Meanwhile, fill your cup by sticking with your self-care routine. Your meditation, energy psychology tapping, yoga, tai-chi – whatever you do to keep yourself grounded and sane is especially important at this time of year.
Just before serving, let go of any remaining expectations. Those will only lead to disappointment and frustration.
This recipe does not require baking, just time. In about 30 days, it will be behind you, leaving you with a warm feeling inside and a smile on your face.

Recipe for a stress-free holiday

How do you keep your holidays stress-free? Which of these ideas resonate with you? I’d love to hear from you!

Wishing you a warm, joyful, and stress-free holiday,