One of the biggest lessons I have learned in my life so far is that a vast majority of the things that stress you out are avoidable. Most of the time, what stresses us is caused by no one other than your own self. I can’t think of a better time that displays this lesson than Christmas. The amount of people I see scrambling around the stores sweating, hyperventilating and, when I’m lucky, crying is incredible. Had these people just planned better, they could be taking it as easy as I am and actually enjoying the season. I have most of my gifts bought by October. I buy Christmas decorations in January when they are all on sale. Most importantly, I have my Christmas cards planned out by early November. If I didn’t have to put a photo on my cards, I would have them bought before my vacation in July. Buying my Christmas cards early has gotten rid of so much stress and left me with a little more cash in my pocket. When Christmas actually rolls around, I am calm as a cucumber.
Imagine my dismay when during my first Christmas season at my new job. I remember it like it was yesterday. It was December 14th…a cold, sunny day. I am going about my business, doing my work like any other day when my boss nonchalantly walks over to me and asks me to send out our business Christmas cards. Assuming they had been written out, addressed, and stamped, I asked him where they were. He said they weren’t ordered yet and that was my job. I almost fainted. My heart rate went up, palms got sweaty and I am pretty sure a thunderstorm formed inside of our office. It was a year’s worth of stress packaged up into one moment. While I was able to order and send out the cards in time, my enjoyment for that holiday season was crushed. Until I confirmed that people got their cards before the 25th, I was a mess. I made sure we ordered our business Christmas cards very, very early the next year. It did go to serve as another example, though, of how much stress we create for ourselves.
7 thoughts on “Stress, Planning and Christmas Cards”
I have to admit that I am one of those peoples that is Christmas shopping and preparing myself like 2 days before Christmas. It is extremely stressful to leave things like christmas shopping and Christmas cards for last minute. Especially when you are ona time frame and know everything needs to be done and ready before the 25th. I totally understand how frustrating it is and with this in my mind, I’ll try to be well prepared this year.
That is very true that we create stress for ourselves by scrambling around for last-minute Christmas cards and gifts. Thoughtful gift-giving is time-consuming and stressful, so people tend to push it off. Getting started early on Christmas is easier said than done–no one wants to think about Christmas gifts during summer vacation, so Christmas always tends to sneak up on us.
Christmas has gotten way too crazy! To avoid the stress come December I start my shopping as early as possible. If I see something that a family member would like I just buy it – even if it is in March! You just have to make sure you know where you stored all the presents once Christmas finally does roll around….
I agree, the Christmas season can sometimes become more stressful than enjoyable. I think we sometimes put way too much pressure on ourselves during what is supposed to be a joyous season. I for instance purchase my holiday cards early so I can get that out of the way. Once Thanksgiving is done I right afterwards start my mailings. For me everything then seems to fall into place on its own…. Yeah, sure wishful thinking on my part! No matter how organized I say I will be, somehow I end up becoming a nervous wreck by the 23rd! I will say that if I feel pressured in finding that “perfect” gift, I will turn to a gift card in a beautiful greeting card as a gift. I realize this may be very impersonal, but it can be a lifesaver; especially when you have difficult gift recipient. Everyone should just relax and enjoy the holidays (there goes wishful thinking again..)!
I guess, for me, it wouldn;t be Christmas unles I am finishing (sometimes starting) my Christmas shopping on Dec 24th. Every year I swear I am going to start in Sept but I never do. I can’t think about Christmas in Sept. I have resigned myself to the fact that I will always be stressed during the Christmas holiday. And i don’t want to stress myself out in Sept by worrying about the Christmas rush so i will leave things as they are.
I am definitely the type of person that believes that everything that needs to get done will eventually get done, but when it comes to Christmas cards, I am a fanatic. My kids think I am crazy for making them dress up and take their card pictures in September!
I know it is foolish to wait until the last minute to buy christmas gifts for all my loved ones but on the other hand I think it enhances the excitement of the season if there is an air of urgency when shopping in the malls and even waiting in lines! I can’t tell you how many interesting people I have met while shopping. It is important to be able to connect with others in person during a holiday season.