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    Your Quick Guide to Eliminating PCSD (Pre-Christmas Stress Disorder)

    December 10, 2014

    If someone you love is suffering from PCSD, or “Pre-Christmas Stress Disorder,” share this post with them. This advice, if taken properly, has been known to cause unusual changes in behavior, such as laughing and relaxing. Uncontrollable movement of the smiling facial muscles have been reported. In some cases extreme euphoria over Christmas de-stressing can lead to prolonged health and peace. Other risks of taking this chill pill include decreases in mood swings and meltdowns. Call your doctor if you are concerned about these life-changing side effects.

    I used to dread Christmas.

    Then one day it dawned on me that I can do Christmas my way. That most of the things they say one has to do in order to have a Merry Christmas can wait.

    This year I am giving myself and my family the gift of a very merry post Christmas. Already, I know this is going to be the most relaxed, stress-free holiday ever.

    Oh, my tree is up and the lights outside are strung. I did those things for my enjoyment, and for the pleasure of my family and house guests. But other than that, I’m saving most of my December to-do list for those bleak winter days that find many people singing post-holiday blues.

    It is amazing and unbelievably liberating how a simple change in mindset involving a simple change in schedule saved the day, and saved my sanity. This is my grownup Christmas list of post-Christmas activity:

    Christmas Cards  I plan to write a New Year’s family newsletter in January and send it via email. Call me lazy, cheap, earth-friendly, or all of the above. But that decision alone made me lose more stress than the weight of all those envelopes.

    Cookie Baking  Who ever said this has to be done by December 25th? Who writes these rules? Doesn’t it make much more sense to save this fun family activity for those never-ending snowy days in January?

    Christmas Party  The thought of getting my house Christmas-card clean under a deadline in order to entertain a crowd with culinary delights creates an ulcer in my stomach. This year we’re planning a “Cabin Fever” party in January, in which everyone will bring a snack. We’ll beat those winter blues with fun and games, and I just might leave the dust on the coffee table so everyone will feel right at home. The Christmas tree and lights will still be up because in my book, the Spirit of Christmas is more necessary after December 25th than at any other time of year.

    Portrait Studio The thought of coordinating picture-ready hairstyles and outfits for four long-haired girls, and dragging their teenaged bootays into a portrait studio in a race to get the photos framed and packaged by a certain date on the calendar is enough to create the twin ulcer. We’ll wait and do a family portrait when everyone is good and ready—that is, when all six people in our family have good haircuts and the man of the house doesn’t look like Alfalfa because of the sprout of hair left by his not-so hair-cutting wife. Which is hardly ever.

    Need more ways to de-stress your Christmas? Check out last year’s post. 

    Psst! I’d love your feedback. What stresses you out the most during this time of year? For most people, it’s the financial stress of gift-buying. I’ll get to that soon, with a post about my daughter’s jar-of-pickles Christmas list. Stay tuned….

    Image credit: blog.f1000.com


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