Even if they come kicking and screaming, your family and friends DO want to help. Remind them that the night will go much smoother, and will involve a lot less hair-pulling, if they roll up their sleeves and get their hands a bit dirty.
#2. Use Technology
Did you know there are apps designed specifically to help alleviate holiday stress? Click here for a sublimely-curated list, and get to pickin'. Whether it's apps, email, texts, or printed schedules, don't be afraid to get a helping hand from a hand that's not really...well, a hand.
#3. Don't Take Things Personally
Family gatherings tend to bring out the worst in us. How many times has someone snapped at someone else at family Christmas? Or sulked in the corner, glaring at everyone passive aggressively? The first thing to remember is that it's inevitable, and no family is safe; we all have our issues. The second thing to remember is: Don't. Take. It personally. You'll thank us.
#4. Remember What It's All About
Gorging yourself on ham and wine. Just kidding...sort of. Above all else, the holidays are about giving yourself and others a break. On January 1st you're free to go back to your worrying, stressing, and generally having a bad time (although we advise against this). During the holiday season, though, try giving it a rest...give yourself permission to laugh, daydream, and bathe yourself in nostalgia.
#5. Reward Yourself The Minute It's Over
Rewarding ourselves for a job well done is a highly underused motivational tool. Promise yourself that once the party is over - dishes done, presents opened, and fam on an airplane far, far away - you'll give yourself a little R&R. It can be as trivial as taking a bath or buying yourself a latte; what matters is that you do something for you.
What are your favorite tips for a (sort of) stress-free holiday? Share with us in the comments below!