If your plans to downsize your holiday have gone by the wayside, relax. Instead of stressing out over what still needs to be done, try these five tips to reduce your stress and have you actually enjoying this final week before Christmas!

Let go of the “One More Thing” syndrome. If your best efforts to be fair in gift-giving run short, avoid the temptation to run out and buy one more thing. Give from your heart and the receiver will feel it. If you still feel a twinge of guilt, write a clever IOU for something you know they would love, with the promise to deliver it by a certain date.

Give up trying to be Martha Stewart. Homemade goodies are wonderful, but if competing with your neighbor to see who makes the best fudge has you staying up late or feeling rushed, then don’t! A quick trip to the local sweets shop on your way to the holiday party will still be appreciated by everyone.

Focus on experiences rather than things. The gift of fun and time together is remembered long after the plastic toys are broken. The little ones in my family have so many toys and clothes already that this year, my 3 year old granddaughter is getting gymnastic lessons for Christmas!

Put time on your calendar to breathe and relax. . . . Joy and beauty live in the moment, so whatever you are engaged in this coming week, whether shopping, packing, sending holiday greetings or wrapping gifts, breathe deeply and enjoy the experience. You may find that things get done more easily when you just breathe!

Do at least one act of kindness for someone you don’t know.  Nothing creates more joy than surprising someone with an unexpected gift, especially to someone who really needs it. It can be as simple as paying for the ticket of the person behind you at the drive-through, or as involved as adopting an entire family and showering them with  gifts, food and holiday spirit. Opportunities are everywhere if you look for them.

Whether you downsize your holiday to do list or not, reducing the pressure you put on yourself will be the best present you could give to your family, friends and yourself! Make this final holiday week a joyous celebration to remember –

Kim Stanley is the founder of Downsize My Home, with hands-on tools and consulting that helps people declutter, downsize, and recreate a living space that fits their current lifestyle. Her unique coaching and downsizing tools can be found at www.DownsizeMyHome.Biz