3 Minute Read
Well, here we are! The first month of the end-of-the-year holiday season is upon us, and most people are already making plans to shop, travel, spend time with family and eat massive meals.
Cue the feeling of being overwhelmed before things even kick into high gear!
The time of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve should be a joyous one. But the more strain you put on yourself, your family and your wallet, the less room you have for joy. Here are some ways to keep the “happy” in happy holidays:
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Make a budget and a plan.
You saw this one coming, right? Take an hour or so to write down who you want to buy for and what you want to spend. Figure out the parties you want to go to and the cost of gifts, food and decorations. During the holiday hoopla, stick to the plan. Checking out Dave’s new Christmas budget tool is a great way to do that.
A little here, a little there.
Trying to do all your holiday shopping or cooking in one weekend can push you over the edge. Shop for one or two people a day to keep the mood light and bright. And a great time to do this is . . .
The times less traveled.
If possible, take a Tuesday or Wednesday morning away from work to do some Christmas shopping when there are not as many people around. It will take less time and energy when there are no crowds to fight.
Don't spend 40 hours a week on Pinterest.
You're setting yourself up for failure. Don't spend 47% of this joyous time of year apologizing to your friends because you didn't bake every item from scratch and create an elaborate story each day for that pesky Elf on the Shelf.
Don’t overcommit to commitments.
Most likely, your schedule includes party invitations out the chimney. But there is no point in going to 20 parties if you are tired and not having fun after eight of them. Be reasonable with what you can handle and . . .
Don’t try to be everything to everyone.
You can only attend so many family dinners, drive so far, and give so much. Just like your money, you have limits with your time. Don't sign up for a guilt trip just because someone asks you to do something. Prioritize your family's priorities, commit to what you want to, and leave it at that!
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Remember what the time is about.
We have Christmas to celebrate Jesus, Thanksgiving to be thankful for what we have, and all the time in between to spend with loved ones. Make it count.
Too much sugar isn’t too sweet.
We know this is like saying you should celebrate Christmas without a tree, but use moderation when partaking of the sweet stuff. You don’t want to eat so much high fructose corn syrup that you ring in the new year with tighter pants.
Out with the old.
No one wants to feel like their house is a cluttered mess with new gifts piled on top of old ones. Throw out or donate old junk you know you don’t use anymore—or wrap it up for a gag gift exchange.
You know your situation better than anyone, so look for the factors that may cause you stress so you can nip that stress in the bud and brighten your holidays.
What are some of your stress causers?