You may view Christmas as a mixed blessing - fine for the kids, to be sure, but lots of work and worry for harried grown-ups. If so, consider making your holiday more enjoyable this year by adding some of these holiday tips:

- Ask family members what they liked best about the last holiday and what they would enjoy doing most during this year. Make spending time together a top priority.- Plan ahead to watch several Christmas TV specials together or to participate in community festivities as a family.

- Delegate. Give everyone in the family a chance to contribute to the planning, shopping, wrapping, cooking and delivery activities.

- Simplify family gift-giving, especially among kids or extended family. Consider limiting some gift-giving to gifts of service, perhaps through homemade coupon books. Or, draw names so that each person receives only one gift, and gives just one.

- Don't measure your holiday preparations and gift choices against those of anyone else.

- Relax your standards. Finding the "perfect" gift or planning the "perfect" holiday is unrealistic as well as stressful. Instead, make your holiday season conform to your wishes and values and be content.

- Delete a few of your least-favorite things to do at Christmas. You can't do it all - so do what you enjoy most.

- Consider taping an audio or video life history of a grandparent (or couple) after Christmas dinner, encouraging everyone to contribute questions.

Or, simply remininisce as a family about other special Christmases or the greatest gifts of love you've received during the year.

- Slow down while shopping for holiday gifts. Don't rush. And don't become annoyed. Smile at other Christmas shoppers and simply enjoy being out and about.

- Use family gatherings as an opportunity to deepen relationships rather than to confirm old grudges or to participate in family squabbles. Transcend your differences with others through a forgiving heart and a warm-hearted attitude. Remember, Christmas is for caring.

- Don't let Santa be the only one who's going "Ho! Ho! Ho!" Lighten your spirts and simply laugh a lot more. Revive that child in you who experienced childhood Christmases as memorable and magical and decide to make this a joyous time of the year.

- Choose to appreciate every gift that comes your way. Gift-giving, at best, is a hit-or-miss proposition so simply appreciate the thought.

- Also remember: A gift is just a gift - not someone's love tied up in a bow - so take the agonizing out of your own gift-giving.

- Decide to give some intangible gifts of love, appreciation and encouragement that will last all year long.

- Reach out to someone without family to share in your holiday festivities.

- Reduce stress by serving Christmas dinner buffet-style, avoiding last-minute cooking, serving and clearing of dishes between courses. Also consider a pot-luck dinner. Remember, it's no sin to take shortcuts with festivities.

- If you're shopping late, don't panic. Just simply find one great gift and give it to several people.

- Build family traditions. For example, take a photograph of everyone in front of the tree, frame it in bright holiday fabric, and hang the picture on the tree each year with those from previous years.

- Make the holidays a value-centered season - time for love, for family, for celebrating the true meaning of Christmas.

- Dr. Larsen is a therapist practicing in Salt Lake City.