It sometimes feels like some people just have a gift for enjoying the holidays that the vast majority of people don’t have. Many of us feel like we’ll never be able to get there, and they just are lucky souls… but they aren’t. They have just understood that the key to joyful holidays is in what is done before them, and in being organized with their time and things.

People who experience stressful holiday seasons:

  • Do things at the last minute
  • Are disorganized
  • Accept more commitments than they can reasonably handle
  • Experience stress as something that happens to them and they have no control over
  • React to things as they come to them

    On the other hand, people who experience joyful and relaxed holiday seasons:

  • Plan ahead for the full season
  • Do as much as possible before the end-of-year time crunch sets in
  • Are organized
  • Are very protective of their time and think twice before accepting commitments at that time of year
  • Actively manage their stress, both by eliminating all the sources of stress they can, and having a set stress-releasing routine.
  • Are very proactive, taking care of things before they become emergencies
  • Take a moment every once in a while to just enjoy the period, the decorations, taking in the love and joy that this season is about

    There is actually nothing mysterious about being able to enjoy the season. It’s just a matter of organization, prioritization and being protective of your time.

    So how do you score on the scale? How many of your habits are inching you toward experiencing stressful holidays, and how many are likely to produce joyful and relaxed ones for you? If you’re not a 100% on the side of the people who create a happy experience, not to worry. Changing your habits to reflect those of the people above is actually a fun and enjoyable experience, that yields results immediately. If you are not sure how to make it happen, there are many resources available to support you, such as do-it-yourself programs or one-on-one help such as peaceful productivity consultants. Simply enter keywords such as "holiday survival", "avoid end of year stress" or "planning for the holidays" will give you resources to get started.

  • Author's Bio: 

    Karin Stewart Ph.D. is a peaceful productivity expert and author of the popular "Holiday Survival to Holiday Delight" (, a program that walks you through a peaceful and relaxed holiday season. She works with clients who want to bring calm into their busy lives, be truly productive and have the life they really want. To learn how to become a peacefully productive Daily Master and get your f*r*e*e Time Management Guide, go to