“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”

You know that song.  For some people, the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year.   They have their houses decorated early; they start listening to Christmas music as soon as they can, and they have their gifts all bought and wrapped before Dec. 1st.  Their menus are planned, their linens and special dinnerware are all polished and ready to use.  We all know someone like that right?

But most people are not like that.  They find that the holidays are the most stressful times of the year.  They even find it to be the most depressing time of the year. Between their jobs, their kids, and the increasing financial expenses of just maintaining a household is enough to just suck the holiday spirit right out of you. 

They also struggle to buy gifts and they overspend on their credit cards.  They are just plain ole scrooges and bah-hum bug become their favorite words.  

It’s sad to be like that, so let’s talk about how we can become a little bit more spirited for the holidays this year. 

First, I would highly recommend shopping small and local. Why would one put their selves through driving in horrid traffic conditions with bad drivers everywhere, along with construction on most roads, just to get nearly trampled by the crowds of people pushing and shoving their way thru the big box stores.   That is way too much stress for anyone unless you are the type that loves that type of excitement….  Shopping small and local helps support the local people who work and own the stores and they are the ones you can depend on for great customer service and more.  Let’s take the Marshall County Co-op for example.  Who would think that you can shop there for most of the people on your list…but you can!  I have put together several reasons why you should shop at the Co-op this Holiday Season:

  1. You can park FREE at the door and not have to walk too far to get through our doors.
  2. You will see local people working there and answering your questions that you may have.
  3. You will find unique items.
  4. You can purchase gift cards if you are not sure of what to buy.
  5. You won’t have to fight crowds.
  6. The employees are pretty darn nice. 

In addition to shopping local, here are some other tips to reduce your stress this Holiday season. 

  1.  Share holiday tasks.  Involve everyone with the shopping, cooking, cleaning, and planning.  Make it fun.  Listen to holiday music while doing the tasks.  Make it a fun time.  Sharing tasks like this lets everyone be involved and feel needed.
  2. Purchase your Holiday pies and cookies from a local person or bakery- This takes the burden completely off you by doing this.  OR you can purchase store bought dough and frozen pies and just do the decorating part.  Again, listen to Christmas music and have some eggnog.  Make the best of it.
  3. Purchase your food prepared from a grocery store or a restaurant.  It’s not homemade, but it’s pretty darn close. 
  4. Pre-plan your gift wrapping. Gather all the needed items in advance.  Scissors, tape, gift tags, bags, and paper.  Spread them out on the floor or preferably a table.  Make it fun.  Have the music cranked.  Let others help you.  And remember, it doesn’t have to be PREFECT.  No need to make sure lines are lined up or sides are even.  NOPE!
  5. Take time to reflect on the season.   Sit in your favorite chair with music, turn the tree lights on and just sit. Be thankful for what you do have.    
  6.  Purchase a pre lit Christmas tree.  Saves time and you add the ornaments. Or buy one from the local Holiday tree events that are already decorated for you.
  7. Shop local and buy gift cards. That’s easy and fast and the recipient gets to choose what they really want.
  8. Be realistic. Don’t expect everything to be prefect.  Nothing will ever be prefect so take that off the table right now.  Just enjoy the moment and breathe!

Let’s hope the upcoming holidays are good for you and your family.   And remember, The Marshall County Co-op is your propane headquarters!  Don’t be caught off guard by not being prepared with your propane needs!

I wish everyone a great and happy Thanksgiving and Christmas.