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Part of navigating through the uncertainty of holiday stress is taking control of what you can by planning for time together. Don't let "mandatory fun" get between you, your family or friends. Think twice before you commit to school programs or holiday parties.

"The holidays offers the potential for some quality family time but it easy to get overcommitted and come out of the holiday period needing an additional "break", said James Baker, head, Fleet Readiness Programs, commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC).

"To avoid that, Sailors and their families are encouraged to schedule some fun by using Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) services to gain access to a wide variety of activities and events at significantly reduced prices."

Once holiday leave periods have been identified, a visit to the MWR Information, Tickets and Travel (ITT) office on base will provide you with information about what is available. Giving the family an activity they can look forward to doesn't have to break the bank. Planning ahead and including family members in the decision will help ensure that everyone enjoys the holidays.

"Depending on your location, you can visit your ITT office for discounted tickets on area attractions, hotels, sporting events, concerts, cruises, tours and special events," said Baker. "Navy Gateway Inns and Suites (NGIS) and MWR cabins or cottages can offer affordable lodging when commercial lodging rates are priced for peak season. A list is available at the main MWR website, navymwr.org.

"MWR is there for you. Take advantage of what it has to offer, whether you are planning to stay in the barracks, hang out with friends or take the family on a trip," said Baker. "MWR services can help you take the stress out of planning and put the fun back into the holidays."