1. Delegate tasks and responsibilities. Even if you are the holiday hostess, you shouldn’t be burdened with all the preparations. Create a list of responsibilities and then assign them to other family members. These tasks can include gift wrapping, envelope licking, decorating, cooking and cleaning, or picking up your aunt from the airport. Make sure to let your relatives know their “assigned” task ahead of time with a warm phone call and convey the idea that you want to everyone to enjoy themselves and contribute.

2. Do as much shopping online as possible. This not only saves you time but it allows you to shop at night in your pajamas with a warm cup of tea. You save the energy that it takes to deal with mobs of shoppers at the stores, and you don’t have to drag the bags through the mall. Nowadays, most e-commerce sites offer great deals and even free shipping.

3. Set time limits. On your to-do list or on your daily calendar, mark the time you will dedicate to each activity. This way, you’re not rushing in and out of every store when you have a free minute. Accommodate your shopping trips to your work schedule, or when the kids are in school, or, as previously suggested, shop online.

4. Outsource the bigger tasks. Sure, we all know Latino families appreciate a home cooked meal, but the truth is we can’t be Wonder Woman all the time. If the notion of cooking is adding to your stress levels, seek professional help. Don’t feel embarrassed by ordering a pre-made cake, turkey, chicken or ham at from your favorite restaurant, bakery or grocery store. The same rule applies for cleaning your house: Consider it a Christmas gift to yourself and hire someone to do it.

5. Avoid shopping for yourself while shopping for others. This is a tough one. Every time I’m out shopping, I end up choosing more items for me than for my family and friends. But I’ve forced myself to leave those goodies behind; and so far, I’ve only bought a pair of sneakers that I really needed for Zumba. What I’ve learned is that if you don’t heed to this rule, you’ll be facing a much larger bill come January. If you really need something, why not wait until after the holidays and take advantage of the even deeper discounts?

The holidays are a beautiful time of year to spend time with our loved ones. It makes no sense to allow stress to ruin the occasion. With just a little bit of time management, you may actually get to chill during the holiday rush.

This article was originally published on Mamiverse.

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