I've noticed an increase in the number of people who stumble onto my blog by googling "relaxing activities." I'm assuming this has to do with the busyness of the holidays and stress associated with the weather, the economy, etc.
So, how do you relax during the holidays? A quick scan of magazine covers at the store checkout counter will reveal plenty of articles promising countless ways to reduce holiday stress. So I was reluctant to address the issue for fear I'd be redundant. But, since we're all stressed I'll jump in with my own thoughts on relaxing during the holidays.
Any of those magazines will tell you that you need to prioritize your list of holiday activities. If the benefit doesn't outweigh the cost in terms of time, energy, and money, consider eliminating the activity. For me, balancing my list is also important. It's easy to spend all my time shopping, or running from party to party. Once I've overdosed on all the social stuff, I can easily retreat into contemplation mode, which is a good thing, but not to excess.
It works better for me if I can plan activities that allow for some solitude, intermixed with church and family gatherings. Because I'm a writer, much of my time is spent, well, writing. So sadly, I just gave up on doing Christmas cards. I maintain contact with my friends throughout the rest of the year, so the additional time writing isn't a good investment of my time when I need my energy for other things.
In a couple days, I'll share some ideas for managing the financial stress around the holidays.