How to give yourself a christmas present

You just can’t beat handmade presents.

How to give yourself a christmas present

Sure, they take time, energy, and effort, but that’s what make homemade gifts so special. Anyone can run out and purchase something from the store, and while you can probably find a Christmas present your recipient will love, DIY Christmas goodies just seem to mean a little bit more. That’s why we’ve assembled a complete catalog of the best crafty Christmas present ideas for everyone on your list. Need a grandpa gift? How about a DIY photo ornament made from pics of the kids? We also have the tastiest homemade food gifts perfect for everyone from teachers to hostesses, and plenty of projects that end with an ideal item for her (that snazzy bubble bath gift box) or him (how ’bout those hilarious hand-stitched hankies??).

And what’s really awesome about this list is that it’s great for every skill set, from hard core DIYers to those who don’t own a single tool. Looking to tackle something slightly more complicated? Check out the cross-stitched red truck—complete with a Christmas tree—for the fella in your life. Or, take it a bit easier and put together the slippers stuffed with pampering products, like lip balm and nail polish, for your bestie. Or do both. Because the truth is that they’re going to love what you choose for them from our list no matter what it is!

How to give yourself a christmas present

Choose from three flavors—fruit and nut, lemon, or chocolate (we recommend making them all!)—and package up the perfect cookie box for all your friends and neighbors.

How to give yourself a christmas present

That classic peppermint patty taste but with snowy white chocolate. The recipients of this sweet treats will gobble them up in no time.

How to give yourself a christmas present

Flavored with ginger and star anise friends and loved one will be snacking on this marmalade into the new year.

Share with a friend

Our little family decided to do Christmas a little bit differently over the past few years. Don’t get me wrong: I adore the holiday and love to see all the wonder through the eyes of my children. Yet, the more we know about the very real and challenging circumstances in which our brothers and sisters around the world are living, the more my husband and I feel led to spend less money on meaningless gifts and give more in ways that count.

As a society we have come to make the Christmas holiday synonymous with buying, shopping, and giving stuff. But we don’t have to keep buying in to the world’s definition of what Christmas should be. In fact, if we follow this Jesus, we know that Christmas, if nothing else, is about the great mercy of God, poured out on us through the gift of His son’s very life, sent to save, heal, restore, and bring hope.

Challenge yourself to step back, simplify and savor the holiday, beyond the stuff. What does God-with-us truly mean to your family? How can you celebrate together more intentionally? What does your gift say about the Jesus we celebrate on this day?

As you consider some of these questions for your family, I wanted to share with you seven tips and ideas for giving differently this Christmas:

(1) Bake. Many of us bake cookies and other goodies for the holidays, but consider that a sweetly wrapped tin of cookies is thoughtful and meaningful. You can give goodies as a gift without spending lots of money and without adding something else to it.

(2) Write an old-fashioned, hand-written letter. Be creative and tell your friend or family member ten things you love about them, ten things they do that you appreciate, or list out funny memories you share.

(3) Make it by hand. Handmade gifts are just for kids to make in school. Pinterest abounds with creative ideas and tutorials for Do-It-Yourself gift ideas that you can make for a fraction of the cost.

(4) Give up your presents. Consider setting up a fundraising page with causelife or Operation Baby Rescue and ask friends and family to donate there in lieu of gifts this year. I am asking family to donate to the rescue for my present.

(5) Go second-hand. Some people are completely weirded out by giving thrift store finds as gifts, but consider making a challenge of it. Decide as a family that you must find each others’ presents at the local Goodwill or other thrift store.

(6) Give your time. For a friend, this may be by setting up a coffee date or tea time where you can simply visit and catch up. For a spouse or child, give a gift certificate for a date or special one-on-one time.

(7) Purpose to give only gifts that give back. Consider giving only fairly traded goods and gifts that support working families around the world. The World Help’s Christmas Gift Catalog offers many lovely options!

Now with the money you’ve saved, sow a gift into something that truly matters. Participate in a gift that gives life, like clean water or a baby rescue.

I love how World Help puts this “doing Christmas differently thing” in their new Christmas campaign:

Change the Present.

Will you join us in celebrating the Christ child by giving more of your time, your love, your heart to the very people God came to earth for? Will you Change the Present? I can think of no greater gift to bring to the Newborn King this Christmas.

About Lauren Lauren is a young(ish) mom of three, Jesus follower, wife of a youth pastor, and fair-trade coffee lover. She traveled to Guatemala with World Help in October 2012 and considers herself a passionate advocate for the least of these. Lauren writes about Operation Baby Rescue, faith, motherhood, and justice at mercyINK blog. You can also connect with her on twitter or facebook.

How to give yourself a christmas present

Sometimes the best gift you can give is the gift of grace. This is true for others, but it’s also true for yourself. Often what I really need isn’t something I can buy at the store, it’s something I have to implement myself. For me, that may be a trip to my garden (in the springtime), a few days alone in the mountains, some written affirmations, or a walk around my neighborhood without my kids.

Christmas can be an especially stressful time of year that can make a lot of us feel more wound up than cheery and thankful, which is why it’s important to give yourself some self-care this holiday season! Family members can be hard to be around, finances can be tight, you might be alone if you share custody of your kids, or your kids may be crazier than usual. Whatever the case is for you, don’t forget to treat yourself in ways that can’t be packaged and placed under the tree.

How to give yourself a christmas presentMaybe you’re getting snappy, sad, frustrated, or overwhelmed. Maybe you’re feeling more annoyed than thankful. Maybe you know your kids won’t get exactly what they want under the tree, or you burned a potluck dish, or you’re finding it hard to exercise or stick to a diet during the holiday season. Whatever your thing is, give yourself some grace. Acknowledge your feelings, and be understanding like you would be with a dear friend. It’s okay not to feel amazing and present for every moment, so allow yourself to feel your feelings, then work to get yourself in a better place.

Sometimes the best thing I can do for myself is to put the negativity I may be feeling in a box, put in on a high shelf in my head, and allow myself to come back to it later. This helps me to stay in the moment without invalidating things I may be feeling. Taking in the moment might mean setting my phone aside and unplugging for a while, writing in the gratitude section of my phone, or soaking in my kids exactly as they are today. Some people like to meditate, and my version of that is just to sit in a cozy spot and drink my coffee or my glass of wine while I look outside. I may try to focus on my breathing. However you take in the moment, give yourself the gift of doing that intentionally.

Instead of cooking a meal for your kids, your spouse, family, or for a potluck, make a meal for you . You can still share it with others, but make a conscious effort to make the meal you want to make without worrying about what other people will or won’t eat, or what other people like. This is such a small gift, but it’s amazing how many parents out there are unable to make a meal they really want because it won’t get eaten by the rest of the family. This small piece of self-care can put you first for once, and it’s not expensive or difficult to do.

All of our bodies may need something different, so it’s hard to make a blanket suggestion for everyone when it comes to self-care. Some people are busy all the time, and their body needs a night to lay on the couch and watch Netflix. Others spend a lot of time in solitude, or are sedentary at work, so their body may need interaction with others and some movement. Some of us are super strict on our diet and need a cheat day, others splurge too often and need something healthier in their diet. Decide what it is that your body needs, and provide that.

How to give yourself a christmas presentFor many, the holiday season means a lot of time with a lot of people. Work holiday parties, family time, potlucks, Christmas programs, Saturday shopping at Target, etc. are all very overwhelming tasks that involve a lot of people. If that’s draining for you, give yourself the gift of solitude as a form of self-care. Put it on your calendar and treat it like an obligation that you can’t break. Go for a walk by yourself, take a bath alone, or go for a drive. Everyone is different, but alone time allows me to recharge so I can be a better version of myself when I need to be around others again.

The holiday season is great for so many reasons, but it’s also super hard for many people. It’s okay not to love this time of year, so don’t be hard on yourself if the holidays don’t fill you with Christmas spirit. Some people love this time of year, but still get overwhelmed, and that’s okay, too! The point is to allow yourself to feel how you feel, and to implement some self-care so those feelings are easier to manage.

These ideas are easy and free, but there are a ton of other options depending on what you prefer!

How do you plan on implementing self-care this holiday season?

How to give yourself a christmas present

We all know that thing about how Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, but sometimes it can also be the most horrible time of the year.

You know what I’m talking about. Gift shopping.

“Oh, I don’t need anything,” your wife says. But you know that isn’t true. Then there are your friends, parents, in-laws, and more. You could ask them what they want, and, if you’re really lucky, they’ll tell you exactly and you can go buy it, but that takes all the romance out of the event and makes it pretty impersonal. And you definitely absolutely don’t want to resort to buying the DVD of Transformers 2 at Wal-Mart because it was on sale for $3 on Black Friday, along with a lot of other outdated and underwhelming movies.

This is the ultimate guide to finding the perfect gift for anyone and everyone. Seriously. We at redditgifts have watched complete strangers put together, send, and receive hundreds of thousands of gifts in our online gift exchanges, and we’ve learned a thing or two (or nine) about what makes a great gift.

1. Make the present an event. Get creative with the packaging! Rather than just handing them a gift in regular wrapping paper, think of the gifting experience as an event–and you want to make sure they enjoy it. Hide his gift and send him on a scavenger hunt to find it. Rather than just giving him a gift card, hide a secret message in a Twilight book that sends him to the gift card code. Or sew her present into a giant stuffed shark so she has to do surgery on it to get it out. And never, ever, underestimate the sheer fun of unwrapping presents. Sometimes, quantity can mean quality, when it’s a bunch of small individually wrapped items.

2. Now, literally give an experience. She loves Les Mis but already has the book and the movie and the movie poster? Buy her tickets to see the show. One of my all-time favorite gifts I’ve seen was a step-by-step mystery guide that sent the giftee to a restaurant, bought him a Flying Spaghetti Monster dinner, and paid for him and his date to play at the arcade.

3. Make a list of all the things the person is interested in and things that define who they are. Make this list long–spend at least two full minutes writing down as many things as you can. Now brainstorm something to go with every item on that list, small or big. You don’t have to give all of those gifts, but you’re going to hit on some cool ideas you wouldn’t have otherwise, and when you combine a few of them, your giftee will appreciate how personal and thoughtful you were. One guy who suffers from depression, loves science fiction, and is also interested in male fashion got a potentially life-changing gift that was perfectly tailored to him. Someone who loves bacon got a year-long gourmet bacon-of-the-month subscription. Hell yes.

4. Look to the past. Maybe someone on your list recently graduated from college, and you could frame his diploma for display. One of our gift exchange participants received a painting of her dog that had died the year before. Let them relive their childhood. One participant, whose brother had sold his Nintendo 64, received another one. And what child hasn’t wished they could eat just the marshmallows out of the Lucky Charms box?

5. Ask yourself what that person needs. I know what you’re saying. Stop it. They DO need something. The key is to think broader. What does a super busy successful businessman need? Time, probably. There are tons of products out there to help people run their lives more efficiently. You could even ask other people you know what their pro tips are. Have a sister in nursing school? Put together a student nurse survival kit! Thinking on a more general level will help you get outside your regular, narrower view of that person.

6. Do some stalking. If all else fails, stalk. Most people have a wishlist on Amazon, and they’ll be pretty surprised and delighted if you somehow found just the thing they wanted without even asking–and that they may have even forgotten they wanted themselves. Look through their Facebook history for clues. If they’re a redditor, you can see what types of things they’ve posted and commented on before, and they might also have a wishlist on the reddit marketplace.

7. Include a little bit of yourself. Make it personal in a different way–personalized from you rather than for them. Create a piece of art, write a song, knit a scarf–you get the idea. Combine this with one (or more) of the above suggestions for an ultra-personalized gift.

8. Make them laugh. Don’t just give a Kindle. Give your crazy liberal friend a Kindle hidden inside a copy of Sarah Palin’s autobiography. Know someone who loves potatoes? Give her 22 pounds of them. Comedy Central blogger Mike Pomranz of Tosh.0 participated in one of our gift exchanges and sent his giftee one hundred trillion dollars–and it was real, it just also happened to be a now-defunct Zimbabwean currency.

9. Be charitable. Ok, so someone on your list REALLY has everything he or she needs? I don’t believe you, but that’s okay, because there are a lot of other people out there who don’t have everything they need. Find something they’re passionate about, and then donate to that cause. Did she volunteer in Haiti? Donate to the charity she went over there with. Is he a dog lover? Donate to an animal rescue. There are thousands of charities helping teens get off the streets, curing cancer, rehabilitating drug addicts, fighting for women’s reproductive rights, and more. Make a gift to a cause that matters in their name.

What are your foolproof gift tips? Leave a comment below! And sign up to participate in redditgift’s Secret Santa 2013 now!

Share with a friend

Our little family decided to do Christmas a little bit differently over the past few years. Don’t get me wrong: I adore the holiday and love to see all the wonder through the eyes of my children. Yet, the more we know about the very real and challenging circumstances in which our brothers and sisters around the world are living, the more my husband and I feel led to spend less money on meaningless gifts and give more in ways that count.

As a society we have come to make the Christmas holiday synonymous with buying, shopping, and giving stuff. But we don’t have to keep buying in to the world’s definition of what Christmas should be. In fact, if we follow this Jesus, we know that Christmas, if nothing else, is about the great mercy of God, poured out on us through the gift of His son’s very life, sent to save, heal, restore, and bring hope.

Challenge yourself to step back, simplify and savor the holiday, beyond the stuff. What does God-with-us truly mean to your family? How can you celebrate together more intentionally? What does your gift say about the Jesus we celebrate on this day?

As you consider some of these questions for your family, I wanted to share with you seven tips and ideas for giving differently this Christmas:

(1) Bake. Many of us bake cookies and other goodies for the holidays, but consider that a sweetly wrapped tin of cookies is thoughtful and meaningful. You can give goodies as a gift without spending lots of money and without adding something else to it.

(2) Write an old-fashioned, hand-written letter. Be creative and tell your friend or family member ten things you love about them, ten things they do that you appreciate, or list out funny memories you share.

(3) Make it by hand. Handmade gifts are just for kids to make in school. Pinterest abounds with creative ideas and tutorials for Do-It-Yourself gift ideas that you can make for a fraction of the cost.

(4) Give up your presents. Consider setting up a fundraising page with causelife or Operation Baby Rescue and ask friends and family to donate there in lieu of gifts this year. I am asking family to donate to the rescue for my present.

(5) Go second-hand. Some people are completely weirded out by giving thrift store finds as gifts, but consider making a challenge of it. Decide as a family that you must find each others’ presents at the local Goodwill or other thrift store.

(6) Give your time. For a friend, this may be by setting up a coffee date or tea time where you can simply visit and catch up. For a spouse or child, give a gift certificate for a date or special one-on-one time.

(7) Purpose to give only gifts that give back. Consider giving only fairly traded goods and gifts that support working families around the world. The World Help’s Christmas Gift Catalog offers many lovely options!

Now with the money you’ve saved, sow a gift into something that truly matters. Participate in a gift that gives life, like clean water or a baby rescue.

I love how World Help puts this “doing Christmas differently thing” in their new Christmas campaign:

Change the Present.

Will you join us in celebrating the Christ child by giving more of your time, your love, your heart to the very people God came to earth for? Will you Change the Present? I can think of no greater gift to bring to the Newborn King this Christmas.

About Lauren Lauren is a young(ish) mom of three, Jesus follower, wife of a youth pastor, and fair-trade coffee lover. She traveled to Guatemala with World Help in October 2012 and considers herself a passionate advocate for the least of these. Lauren writes about Operation Baby Rescue, faith, motherhood, and justice at mercyINK blog. You can also connect with her on twitter or facebook.

How to give yourself a christmas present

12 GIFTS TO GIVE YOURSELF AT CHRISTMAS AND THROUGHOUT THE YEAR

Put yourself first every now and then with these 12 gifts to give yourself throughout the year! Self-care and organisation tips to help make life a little easier for you.

BE KIND TO YOURSELF

As I write this it’s the middle of November. I don’t normally like to start thinking about Christmas much before the 1 st December but the shops, Pinterest and my kids are telling me that the festive season is on its way!

So, I began to think about gifts, not just about gifts for others but gifts that we can bestow upon ourselves. And that doesn’t mean just at Christmas time either.

Perhaps we could begin to love and cherish ourselves a little bit more throughout the year too?

If this sounds like something that could work for you, here are a few ideas you might like to think about…

How to give yourself a christmas present

12 GIFTS TO GIVE YOURSELF

1. Free time: It may be a little hard to find, but whenever you can snatch a few moments to yourself, please do so. It’s amazing what even 10 minutes can do to restore body and mind. Make a little list now of what you’d do with those 10 minutes. Would you read, snuggle in bed, cuddle your pet, go for a walk? If they sound tempting, can you find time to do one of them today?

2. Time away from the screens: It’s ok, you can pop your phone on silent, set it on a high shelf where you can’t see it light up the room, turn off your notifications so you’re not tempted to swipe right. Give yourself a break from Google, your inbox or those little pop-ups in the bottom right of your screen. Close your tabs, put down your devices and give yourself a screen break.

3. A notebook: Keep it on your bedside table to jot down thoughts that come to you in the night. Use it to write down things you need to do today. Make a list of things you’re grateful for. Brain dump what’s bothering you or brainstorm ideas for your next project, holiday etc. Free your mind and use your notebook to hold the thoughts that your busy brain would otherwise be holding for you.

4. Something nice to look at: It could be a bunch of flowers (or fake flowers!), a candle, a new cushion, your child’s drawing framed on the wall, a favourite photo on your desk… the choice is yours. Make sure it brings a smile to your face, warms your heart, makes you laugh, or energises those happy chemicals in your brain!

5. A kick up the ***: Bet you weren’t expecting this one on the list! Well, it may not be the most obvious gift but I do personally believe that practicing tough love on ourselves is important sometimes. It could be saying no to that last slice of chocolate cake, chastising ourselves for being too lazy to go out for a walk, chopping up our credit cards if we’re drowning in debt or removing apps off our phone to limit time on social media. Being hard on ourselves and saying enough is enough is vital for a bit of personal responsibility and realising that real change has to come from within. Tough love shouldn’t be your default mindset but every now and then I think it comes in handy.

6. Have closure on the day: When it gets to the evening and you’re winding down for bed and sleep, draw a metaphorical line under the day and across your To Do list. Tell yourself that you’ve done what you can for today and you’ll start afresh tomorrow. Don’t carry your to-dos into bed and into your dreams.

7. Headphones: Sometimes I just need quiet. Quiet time to think, to get things done, to listen to myself! I also like to listen to things whilst I’m on the go. I can listen to music whilst I’m cooking dinner or listen to a podcast whilst walking the dog. I can meditate whilst sitting in my living room but without background noise courtesy of my kids. Headphones help me connect with and learn from the outside world.

8. Space: Space is a wonderful thing. It could be space in your diary, space in your mind, space in your closet. Space invites calm, clarity and room to breathe and grow. When your home and your life is stuffed full, you’ve got no flexibility for things you want to do, things that come up unexpectedly, or things that need you because you’re overstretched already.

9. Compassion: I bet you’re harder on yourself than you are on your loved ones! I know I certainly am. I seem to think I can do it all. I set the bar really high then have a go at myself when I don’t quite reach. Would you expect your family, kids or friends to do everything, all of the time? What do you say to them when they fail – Don’t worry, you tried your best? No-one’s perfect? Have another go tomorrow? Practice saying these things to yourself instead and show yourself some kindness. Ask yourself whether it really all needs to be done by yesterday? Does it all need to be done perfectly? Does it all need to be done anyway, and by you?

10. A diary: Spend a little time setting up an electronic diary on your phone or buy yourself a little paper diary. Commit to updating it often, keeping it under review and assessing when you’ve got too much to do or too much of the wrong things. Add in birthdays, dentist appointments, anniversaries, school events, coffee mornings. Stop trying to remember appointments, forgetting important events or double-booking yourself. Being organised saves you time, stress and a lot of frustration!

11. Appreciation: Stand in front of the mirror and say some lovely things about yourself. Stop looking at those wrinkles or the grey hairs showing through, or the dimply and wobbly bits, or that you’ve forgotten to feed the dog… Put negativity, criticism and your To-Do list aside for a moment and say some kind things about that amazing body and mind of yours and all that it does for you every day. (And then go and feed the dog if you need to!).

12. A hobby: My blog is my hobby (and then some!). I pour time, energy and love into it and it’s something I look forward to doing whenever I can. A hobby helps one switch off from the day-to-day. It makes us happy, fulfilled, rewarded, inspired, relaxed and any number of other emotions that we often can’t find in our busy, responsible lives. Explore your own hobbies, give them time and don’t feel guilty or selfish for spending a little time doing something for you.

How to give yourself a christmas present

Lately almost all of the websites I visit have had “gift list” suggestions. Here are ten gifts for your grandma! Here are five gifts for the friend that lives far away! Here are eight gifts for your local sportsman! In the spirit of these amusing lists, but also in the Christian spirit of being a tad less materialistic and shifting the focus to holier things, I thought I’d offer up a similar list of suggestions: gifts that you can give to yourself to make this holiday season a little more special, a little more meaningful, and a lot more joyful.

(I will have you know I have tested all of these. They work!)

1. The Gift Of Letting Something Go: I know. I know that you had planned to make DIY gifts for 14 people and send out Christmas cards and volunteer at the soup kitchen and make the cookies Martha loves and decorate the little tree for the hallway. You are not going to get it all done – or, if you do, it will be at the expense of time with loved ones, time to just relax into what the season means, and time to be alone with God. Drop something. Drop one thing without guilt. (The “without guilt” is the gift part). Martha will live. The world will keep turning. And you will be better for it.

2. The Gift Of Leaving The Computer: Step away from the internet from now until the New Year. I know, I know, some of you need to use email and related things for work (or to buy Christmas gifts!). That’s fine. But step away from the rest of it. Step away from the ceaseless barrage of horrible headlines, the two hours burned away clicking around on Amazon, the eighty-two articles you’ve been meaning to read. Take a Twitter and Facebook and social media hiatus. All of a sudden, you’ll find that you have time. So much time! Time to enjoy and relax and decorate and look at Christmas lights and catch up on your Bible study!

3. The Gift Of “I Can’t Change People”: I was telling my husband the other day that it made me a little bit sad to see so many articles this year advising people on how to tolerate/endure being with their families and friends over the holidays. I’m fortunate that I’ve always been blessed to enjoy my time with my family – and yet, I also realize that for a lot of people it’s a difficult experience. Sometimes the holidays bring you into contact with people that are demanding, offensive, frustrating, and upsetting. The best thing you can do is to realize that there’s nothing you can do. You can’t change them. God can, in His own good time, but you can’t. Sometimes, if you can withdraw from the situation, that’s best. But if you can’t, it’s good to repeat and remember that someone else’s behavior isn’t your responsibility, nor is it yours to fix or heal. Pray for them, and let the rest go.

4. The Gift Of Being Childlike: I am 35. I am, I have heard, a grown woman. I still get childishly excited over Christmas lights and look forward to seeing them with my family every year. I love to wrap presents, even though I am not very good at it. I still watch The Grinch and drink hot chocolate. And I got very tickled recently that I actually ran into Santa at the mall (where he was apparently taking a break from seeing kids to have a sub at the local steak joint). Last Sunday, watching the children’s handbell group at church, I was struck by how whole-heartedly the children engaged with the season and its fun. Indulge the childlike spirit and joy that lives in you this holiday season, and don’t get so caught up in being “mature” and “sophisticated” that you miss the fun stuff and the real delights.

5. The Gift of God: He is, indeed, the reason for the season, but we have a tendency to confine God to cantatas and candelight services and nativities in the front yard. Why not start a new, more private, Christmas tradition this year? Take a half or an hour, whatever you can spare, and spend it with God – just for Christmas. Make some hot chocolate or go on a wintry walk and have a chat with Him. If you don’t already read the Christmas story, start – and, if you do, find another meaningful passage that relates to the season. (I am focused on Isaiah 9). Start your own special habit that you can look forward to every year: something spiritually significant, replenishing, and joyful.

How to give yourself a christmas present

The Christmas season is almost upon us, and if you’re like most moms you’re both anticipating it with joy and approaching it with a bit of dread. After all, the weeks from Thanksgiving Day (in the U.S.) through Christmas and New Year’s Day tend to be some of the busiest and most stressful weeks of the year.

And if those weeks typically create a lot of stress for you, I want to encourage you to do something different this year. Before you think about food or decorations or the presents you might buy for family and friends, consider giving yourself and your family six special gifts this year. I can almost guarantee that these gifts will bring you more joy during the busy holiday weeks than anything you will buy in a store.

1. Give yourself and your husband the gift of deciding. Instead of just letting things happen this year, work with your husband to decide what the holidays should look like for your family.

Figure out what you really want. What does an ideal Christmas look like to you? What does it look like to your husband? Talk about it openly and honestly, and listen to what he has to say.

Establish your priorities. Make a list of the two or three things that are most important to each of you and use that list as the basis for planning the busy holiday weeks.

Let go of things that don’t fit your priorities. This is where things start to get difficult. You’ll have to let some things go because you can’t do everything (warning: some people won’t like that). This year, focus on the things that will make the season fun, relaxing and memorable.

Plan the activities you really want to do. Choose one or two activities that each family member loves and schedule them now. Put them on your calendar, because that’s the only way to make sure they happen.

2. Give your children the gift of a mother who can relax and enjoy the season. Your children don’t care if everything is perfect; they want the time and attention of a mother who is relaxed and happy.

For example, when our children were very young, I stepped back from the Christmas dinner preparations (even though they were taking place in my kitchen) and let my mom and sisters who didn’t have children do the bulk of the work.

I felt guilty, but I also thought that enjoying our children on Christmas day was more important than spending the entire day in the kitchen.

3. Give your husband the gift of your time and presence. Make plans a couple of times a week to enjoy spending time together.

Do some of the Christmas errands together and turn them into a date, like doing some shopping for the kids and then going out for coffee or dessert. Or do something fun or relaxing that has nothing to do with the season (sometimes you just need a break from it!).

If you can’t get out of the house, put the kids to bed and watch a Christmas movie or another favorite movie. Make time for sex regularly, remembering that sex is about you too, not just your husband, and that it can be exactly the stress reducer you need!

4. Give yourself the gift of “enough.” At some point in the season (long before December 24!) decide that you have done enough, bought enough, planned enough and prepared enough.

5. Give your family the gift of outdoor activity. Go outside almost every day as a family and walk, bike, hike, skate, sled, play soccer – whatever makes sense in your part of the country.

6. Give yourself the gift of relaxation. Take time regularly to do something that really relaxes you such as take a long bath, read a book, take a walk, drink a glass of wine, watch a Christmas movie, or meet a friend for a cup of coffee.

The Christmas season will always be a hectic and bustling time of year. (And that’s part of what makes it fun.) But it doesn’t have to be overly stressful, and it certainly doesn’t have to be chaotic. This year, to make sure you get plenty of the bustling and little or none of the chaos, decide to give yourself these 6 gifts that will mean more than any gift you can buy in a store.

How to give yourself a christmas presentGaye Groover Christmus is the creator of CalmHealthySexy, a website that helps women create more energy and passion in their life, health and marriage. She’s also the author of ebooks and resources for busy wives and moms who want to live healthier lives and create happier marriages.