Photo by Reggie Joiner

Here are two more ideas to add to your “reducing Christmas stress list.”

Don’t try to resolve long-term issues

Most families have complicated issues that need to be resolved and relationships that need to be restored. They make the mistake of assuming that the magic season of Christmas could be the best opportunity to fix everything. It usually backfires. The point is, you probably can’t fix something on Christmas day that has been brewing for years. More than likely, you will add stress to everyone’s holiday, blindside someone who is not expected to deal with the issue, and create a really bad memory for Christmas. I am sure that seems like the opposite of what you would think we would suggest, but maybe you should just work hard to avoid unnecessary conflict during your time with family. Guard against the known emotional or controversial triggers that stir up conflicts, and just decide to earn relational change in your pocket. Then you can pursue resolving the issue at a much more appropriate and effective time, after Christmas.

Turn off cell phones

Okay, I know this idea probably just added a level of stress to your holidays, but trust me, it could potentially teach you how to lower your stress level. I actually got this idea from one of our social media directors. The fact is that twenty-four hour accessibility to information and outside voices adds more pressure to your life than you probably realize. As difficult as it seems, learning to shut off the computers, phones, iPods, iPads, Facebook, video games and other forms of media for even a few hours could allow you to actually make your key relationships a priority. You can even warn your friends by a creative posting on Facebook or group text. Let them know you are disconnecting for a short window of time. What if you simply decided to stop blogging, twittering, texting, facebooking or doing anything in the form of electronic communication with the outside world for a few hours, or even a day? Give the people you love the most your undivided attention.

We hope you will try some of these ideas we have posted this week. Please continue to share what you are doing to help keep your focus on the important things this holiday season.

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Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four