Marriott Alumni Magazine

Fall 2014

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Page 29 of 51

Around the COOLER BY MEgAN BiNgHAM HENDRiCkSON All Is Calm It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, but multiplying invites, conflicting schedules, and lengthy family visits can make the holidays more hectic than happy. There’s no need to get buried in the end-of-year rush though. You can keep things merry and bright—and live to tell the tale—with these eight stress-relieving strategies. 1. checked twice Make a list of all obligations, parties, and family events between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Sort the list into events you’d like to attend and those you’d rather miss. Remember it’s okay to opt out. For conflicting activities, divide and conquer. One spouse can take the kids to the neighborhood social while the other networks at the office party. Before embarking, manage expectations by deciding together how long you’ll stay at each event. 2. healthy & jolly New Year’s resolutions get all the fanfare, but setting a goal to eat reasonably during the holidays could be your salvation come 1 January. You can still enjoy traditional favorites— pumpkin pie, eggnog, and turkey—just keep the portions sensible, add some lighter options to the menu, and remember to exercise. You’ll thank yourself in 2015. 3. trump card Gift cards were once the hallmark of procrastinators, but in 2012 nearly 60 percent of receivers wanted plastic in their stockings. That can lighten your load— especially if you’re traveling for the holidays. keeps a tally of the most-asked-for cards, and the front-runners might surprise you: Walmart, Target, and Amazon.

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