It is likely a bit late for most, but I do have a suggestion for removing one of the stresses of Christmastime: Declare a gift giving truce.
For all the adults you normally give gifts to, declare that you will not be giving nor expect to receive any gifts. While you can claim economic reasons, I see the real benefits of stress (and waste) reduction. Besides the financial strain, the real hassle with gift buying is figuring out what to give. Christmas often seems a time when people receive gifts they don’t really like or need and give gifts that the recipient does not really appreciate. You avoid the bother of shopping and no longer have to fake excitement over another trinket that you have no idea what to do with (in the garage with last year’s I guess).
I, and my family, have done this for a few years now and barely miss the gift swapping ritual. To those who claim such an idea Scrooge like, I would suggest that if the only joy you get from meeting family or friends over Christmas is swapping useless gifts then, perhaps, gifts or their lack, are not the problem
My family excludes children from such truce. It may be a sign of materialism, but receiving gifts is a large part of the excitement for the younger ones, it seems cruel to foist on them something they may not understand. You can include older children in the truce, or perhaps, limit them to one most desired gift. The older children (e.g., teens) should be capable of understanding the aim of such a gift truce.
Whether you call a truce or engage in an all-out gift war, I wish you all a wonderful Christmas.
Wow, it hardly seems like a year ago since I put my last Christmas message post.
I guess it is time to dig the decorations out of the closet.
because ASCII art never goes out of style.