Here are some things that worked for me last year.
- Decorate early (Had a Neighborhood party on Dec. 10 that got me going before the last minute rush.)
- Decorate less (Put up a tree, wreath over the fireplace, wreathes on the doors and gates, manger scene in every room, that's all.)
- No main meal for family Christmas (For the past millennium, we have served appetizers, a main course, and desserts. We stuffed on appetizers until the meal. Then people ate very little at the main meal -- saving themselves for the desserts. Last year we cut out the main meal. That went over so well, that the group has opted for a repeat this year of heavy appetizers and decadent desserts.)
- Gifts only to grand and great grand children -- no Christmas shopping; gave only money; doubled money for children on their birthdays (actually started this several years ago)
- Bake early & freeze
- Schedule fun stuff on calendar -- like looking at XMAS lights, caroling at the church, etc.
- Forget about having a spotless house (You knew that was coming, right?)
I always like any advice that suggests not cleaning the house. You can see I come by that honestly now.