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5 Tips for Crafting Through Holiday Stress

Holiday stress is very real for many people. Even if you love the holidays and enjoy your family, it can be a tough time. If you have family issues, then it can be even more of a struggle.

Crafting can help.

Why the Holidays are Stressful

Some of us really love the holidays. Nevertheless, they can induce stress. Here are just a few of the reasons that people experience stress during the last quarter of the year:

  • Seasonal depression
  • Financial strain due to gifts, meals, travel, and holiday activities
  • Anxiety provoked by holiday gatherings and parties

Furthermore, the holidays typically mean that you spend time with extended family. Often, this means that you have to be around people that you don’t agree with about things such as politics. Many of us also have a history of family trauma. Therefore, gatherings can be triggering.

Then there are those people who opt not to spend the holidays with their families. Whether that’s by choice or circumstance, it can lead to loneliness.

5 Tips for Crafting Through Holiday Stress

Crafting can offer a terrific reprieve from holiday stress. Here are a few tips to use crafting to take a break during a stressful season.

1. Make Alone Time with Crafting

People are often the biggest stressors during the holiday season. You may have houseguests. There are large parties to attend. Even the streets and stores are busier than normal. That’s why it is critical to take regular time away from people to decompress.

Crafting is a great way to use your alone time. It is so much more rejuvenating than plopping in front of the TV for an hour. If you schedule regular crafting time into your week this season, then you should find yourself feeling much more relaxed.

2. Entertain Groups with Crafts

Crafting is a great way to enjoy alone time. However, it also has its benefits when done in groups. For instance, crafting is a nice focus for people with disparate social views.

This year, keep plenty of craft supplies handy for your guests. Offer a variety of materials, and make it easy for people to embrace the opportunity. Some great holiday group craft ideas include:

  • A wall where people can add their wishes for the new year, decorated on paper or felt
  • Paint or make Christmas tree ornaments
  • Yarn-wrapped letters; these work for any holiday
  • Collages: seasonal or “vision board” style

3. Embrace your Favorite Go-To Craft

The busy holiday season isn’t the time to learn a difficult new craft. Instead, it’s the time to embrace your favorite craft. Choose the craft that you find to be easiest, least time-consuming, and most meditative.

Furthermore, choose the right patterns and projects within that craft. For example, if you crochet, then you might make a simple double crochet pillow. It is a small, easy project with simple stitches. Therefore, you can use it to practice mindful crafting. This allows you to really sink into the experience and maximize relaxation.

4. Use Scraps and Upcycled Materials

Holiday time isn’t the time to invest a lot of money in new craft materials. Use what you already have in your home. Recycled, upcycled, and scrap material projects are great money-saving options.

5. Focus on Process, Not Product

Many people put a lot of pressure on themselves to be “perfect” for the holidays. Let that impulse go when it comes to holiday crafting. Let craft time be the time when you are messy, imperfect, and carefree. Worry less about the end product and more about using the process to de-stress.

A Note About Crafting for the Holidays

As you can see, crafting can be really soothing during the stressful holiday season. However, there’s a flip side to this.

Many crafters feel obligated or inspired to craft for the holidays. This may include:

  • Items to sell at craft fairs
  • Crafts to donate to charity
  • Gifts for family and friends
  • Decor for the home
  • Items to sell as gifts online

This can be great. However, as the holiday deadline approaches, crafting itself can become stressful. If you put too much pressure on crafting for the holidays then you risk taking the joy and relaxation out of the experience. In the next post, we’ll look at how to craft for the holidays without adding stress. Be sure to come back next week to check that out.

5 Tips for Crafting Through Holiday Stress

Kathryn Vercillo

Kathryn Vercillo is a professional writer who also has a Masters in Psychological Studies. Her expertise is writing at the intersection of crafts and mental health. Kathryn is the author of several books on this topic including Crochet Saved My Life.

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APA Reference
Vercillo, K. (2018). 5 Tips for Crafting Through Holiday Stress. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 27, 2020, from


Last updated: 30 Oct 2018
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.