December 2018 Hot Flashes

The Holidays – More memorable, wonderful, or stressful?

While the holidays can be a lovely time to be had by all, the fact is that for many of us, it’s a time of stress and worry. How might you cope with it? Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

1: Create a schedule. Start by listing out what needs to be done. Then your timing. Share with the family so everyone is on board. Include days for shopping, holiday parties, school activities, et al.

2: Because financial concerns are always a big cause of stress, set a budget and stick to it. Take into consideration your normal monthly expenses first. If you do use a credit card, make a plan to pay it off as quickly as possible. When you are tempted to spend outside the budget, don’t budge!

3: Remember that a spill on your holiday outfit, or dinner running 30 minutes late isn’t the end of the world and could become a funny memory to enjoy years from now. Have you kids make out a list of the gifts they want, but remind them that they won’t get them all. Talk with them about facing the reality of the situation.

4: Try not to overindulge. Excessive stress raises appetite and cravings for sugary and fatty foods, and chronic drinking. Eat healthy. Have yogurt or apple with peanut butter for breakfast. It’ll be a good protein boost and may enable you to eat less when it’s time for the big meal.

Here’s to a stress free Christmas!

Men & Shopping: The Oil and Water of Christmas

While avoiding general stereotypes is a good thing, we sometimes admit that some are truer than others. Take holiday shopping. Most men hate it. Not all men, just most. Let’s explore a few reasons why this is, so we might better understand this odd trait in the masculine species. First, men do not get much satisfaction out of buying gifts. They also do not apply meaning or symbolism to gifts.

Men do not buy the gifts women want to receive. More women want jewelry than there are men who buy jewelry for them. However, men want to buy women more sporting goods than the number of women who actually want sporting goods. Inexperience in shopping creates anxiety. It can be stressful buying a gift. Is it the right size? The right color? Procrastination just seems like a logical way to manage gift-buying anxiety. Finally, men love the challenge of a one-day hunt. They love the adrenaline rush of having one day to do it all. Many consider that pressure to buy in less time really hones their gift-buying prowess. They feel they buy better gifts for that reason.

Do your kids consider the holidays a video-gaming marathon?

If given the choice, they probably would. However, we all know that’s not conducive to raising a socially engaging young adult. Plan ahead and the words “I’m bored!” may never be uttered in your home. Here are five activities to do with your child during the holidays.

1: Plan a day trip. It doesn’t have to be more than 45-60 miles away. Is it an indoor bounce park? Nature destination? Perhaps ice skating?

2: Get cultured. Many museums have special programming each holiday season. Take in a show or visit a children’s, science, or art museum. Find something to do that’s fun and challenging.

3: Volunteer. What a great way to bond with your child. Teach them the importance of sharing their time and gifts with those less fortunate. It could be working in a soup kitchen, or visit an assisted living facility with homemade cards.

4: Collect toys to donate. It’s a great way to purge the ones they no longer need and teaches them a lesson in sharing with the less fortunate.

5: Bake holiday treats! This can be done for a few days throughout the break and has a dual benefit. They can enjoy half the treats the day they make them. Then refrigerate the others and save for the key holiday meal. The kids can show off their cooking skills for the whole family!

The key is to plan ahead. Ask your kids about what they might want to do. Let them feel like they had a hand in determining their holiday activities.


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