Take the Stress out of the Holiday
Take the bah humbug out of the holidays. It's well-known that holidays are stressful — and that stress can affect your enjoyment of the season. Don't allow all the lists and running around to weigh you down. Use these tips for a stress-free Christmas.
Don't Get Caught Up in Spending
It might be the number-one rule you set year after year — and it's the first thing to go out the window once the holiday season arrives. Spending and feeling like you have to spend more are stressful. Plan your budget and stick to it. You don't want to start out the new year with debt that you weren't prepared for. Consider these ways to save:
- Limit gifts to three per person.
- Set a dollar amount for each family member.
- Host potlucks where everyone chips in to reduce the cost of parties.
- Shop smartly; watch sales and keep flyers for price matching. Hang onto receipts to get a discount if your item goes on sale soon after you purchase it.
It Really Is the Thought That Counts
Consider simplifying your holiday. If cards and gifts aren't in your plans for some groups of friends or family, why not host a holiday lunch to really spend time together? Or plan a coffee date or night out for appetizers with your friends. With group gifting, consider doing a name exchange to limit gifts and cap the dollar amount. Take part in activities that are free or low cost:
- Check out holiday concerts and shows at churches and schools
- Enjoy Christmas movies and snacks at home
- Host a cooking exchange
- Organize group caroling
- Take a drive to see the holiday lights in your city
Consider Homemade Gifts and Gifts of Time
If you enjoy crafting or baking, consider homemade gifts for your friends and family. Take a day and make up batches of cookies and breads to share as gifts. If your lettering grabs the eye of everyone you know, use that talent to create small signs or calligraphy chalkboard signs. The uniqueness of the gift and the time you spent will be appreciated.
Know When to Get Some Help
Yes, everything made from scratch is amazing, but it's also time-consuming. Know when to draw the line in the sugar bowl. Pick up some cookies at the grocery store. Use premade pie crusts. There are options that might not be as good as yours but are close. Get some sleep and add to your Food Lion list to get things done.
Remember that you need to have a plan and stick to it. Avoiding the pitfalls will help lead to a peaceful season that you can really enjoy.