The December issue of Woman's Day (on newsstands now) is offering ways to cope with the holidays by providing 10 stress-free solutions to make your Christmas a merry one.
Woman's Day turned to the experts, from etiquette coaches to psychologists, to get the best tips on how to minimize the stress this holiday and eliminate some of the factors that have been issues in past years.
When it comes to presents, and saving money, experts advise readers to let go of gift guilt and suggest proposing that your family change their gift-giving traditions to possibly only giving gifts to the kids, a Secret Santa exchange with a price cap, or homemade gifts only. And once you get the gift, if you don't like it, fake it. It's better than hurting the feelings of one of your relatives.
If you are hosting the entire family there are a few tricks that experts say to keep in mind:
- Command Your Kitchen - Don't lose it if someone tries to step on your turf in the kitchen. Give each matriarch of the family a task to do outside the kitchen and explain it will just be faster for you to do the cooking.
- Take it Easy on Holiday "Spirits" - Keep those relatives that generally have one too many in check by limiting the alcohol served or have someone serve it.
- Remember, The More The Merrier - Plan ahead for late additions and when unexpected guests show up, keep your cool and roll with it.
- Call it a Night When You're Ready - When you are ready give the impression the night is coming to a close by starting to clean the kitchen, mentioning how fast the evening went by or begin to gather coats for people.
To tame the family drama, avoid talking about politics, keep the gossiping on hold, and reduce the use of annoying and distracting electronics. Experts suggest being ready to divert attention when these subjects come up. CEO of Beverly Hills Manners, Lisa Gache, says "change the subject with a remark like 'The turkey smells terrific, doesn't it? Let's go check on it.'"