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Holiday, Gifts and Stress

By Jude Roberts, Staff Writer

(Page 2 of 4)

Shopping Alternatives

Shop online whenever possible. A growing number of major retailers have cyberspace shops offering a variety of goods that can be purchased without ever leaving your home. 

Catalog shopping is another option if you don't want to spend hours fighting the crowds at the mall. 

Buy the same gift for as many people as possible on your list. If you find a gift book that would be perfect for all of your favorite friends, pick up a half-dozen copies. You donít always have to get everyone you know something different.
Use your shopping time as efficiently as you can, by creating and carrying a business-card sized list of gift ideas in your wallet, along with a list of gifts you've already gotten. These lists will help you from spending so much money, and will also help you not buy so many unnecessary gifts.

Preparing Your Loved One

Although itís the holiday season, try to maintain the daily routine you and your loved one are used to doing.

Even before an official gathering, continually speak about the people who will be coming to visit, or who youíll be visiting, so that the person youíre caring for will begin to start looking forward to some social time.
Play seasonal music around the house, and serve their favorite, seasonal food.
Let the person observe but donít try to force them into any activity beyond their cognitive capacity. Have them do a repetitive task, such as folding napkins or cracking nuts, that will help keep them calm.

If itís possible, have them help bake cookies, or decorate the tree. If they donít want to, let them stay as an observer.

Prior to the onset of any behavioral problems during a holiday gathering, prepare distractions such as a family album to draw the person's attention away from their problem.


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