I love this time of year. There is a lot to do, but it's so much fun. There's all that anticipation. The things that need to get done are labors of love.
I've come to the realization that most of the pressure we feel during the holidays is self imposed. WE'RE the ones that think we have to have certain gifts for certain people, wrapped in a certain way. WE'RE the ones that think we have to have certain cookies or certain meals. There is nothing wrong with doing these things or having these things as long as we don't let it consume us. It's great to have gifts for loved ones as long as we can afford it and we give it out of love, not obligation. It's wonderful to have special meals and special treats as long as it's a joy to give of yourself in this way and not a burden.
Take a step back and think about why you are doing the things you are doing in preparation for the holidays. Are you filled with love and joy? Or do you feel obligation and drudgery? If it's the love and joy, you're in the right space... continue. If it's the obligation and drudgery, you may want to rethink what you're doing and maybe make some changes. If your friends and family love you, they won't want you to be overwhelmed with preparations. They'll be just as happy with a smaller, easier meal and/or fewer, less expensive gifts if that would make your holidays less stressful. Trust their love. Trust that they want your happiness as much as you want theirs.
I believe that if we took a poll, we'd discover that what's important to most people is just being together with family and friends and being surrounded by love.