Holiday stress-buster #1: Shop the summer clearance items stores are unloading to make room for fall


    I know it’s a bit early, but I thought it would be fun to start collecting holiday stress-busting tips on this blog. I know it will help me out and I thought it might help others out too, especially if you have some stress-busting ideas you’re willing to share here. Holiday prep usually pushes me right over the edge so that by the time I’m five days away from Christmas I’m in full-throttle count-down mode: hiding in the attic wrapping surprise gifts, chasing the bus to deliver the requisite bus driver gifts, trying to remember which teacher, coach, instructor I forgot to acknowledge with a gift card, wrapping gifts for folks who might be giving me gifts — just in case. As luck would have it, my birthday falls in this week before Christmas. While I’m in maniac-elf mode, my loving family wants me to take it easy, go out to dinner, have a good time. I find it a little difficult to down-shift. And this year, I turn the big 4-0. I’m going to need to start the de-stress process early. I thought I’d share what I come up with here. Hopefully some of you readers will have some suggestions you’re willing to add as comments below. If we get enough ideas here, this whole thing might be fun — except for trying to find a parking space at the mall in December. There are some things that planning ahead can’t help.

    My first holiday stress-busting tip:
    Stock up on clearance items stores are pushing to make room for fall merchandise. You can get a good deal on some higher-end items right now. I snapped up some colored tea lights packaged in a fancy wood box by Target’s higher-end Smith & Hawken line for only $1.50 a box. (Please don’t be offended if you end up being the recipient of this gift — it really is cute.) These would make great gifts for those teachers, or bus drivers or baby sitters. Or, they’d be a good hostess gift you could take to a holiday party. If you see any other things like this on sale right now, please let me know here. Thanks for playing along.