Christmas, and the holiday season in general, can be a time of tremendous stress for many. Avoid the overwhelm by planning ahead and keeping these helpful tips for a stress free holiday season in mind.
1. Follow in Granny’s Footsteps
Remember the good old days when people, like Granny, paid with… cash?
Overspending is one of the holiday season’s major contributors in causing financial stress.
This year, leave your plastic at home and pay in cash.
If you’re married, start by sitting down with your partner or setting time aside alone to create a Christmas budget – and stick to it!
Get envelopes together with each person’s name on it, and fill the envelope with the right amount of cash. When it’s gone, the shopping spree ends.
By having a clear and concise plan for Christmas spending, and avoiding access to imaginary unlimited amounts of money available on credit cards, you’ll ease the financial stress inherent with uncontrolled spending.
2. We’re Gonna Wrap Around The Clock Tonight
Bill Haley might have been on to something.
This year, instead of being consumed by the shopping frenzy, and then engulfed in a pile of last minute wrapping projects, take the time to wrap each gift you purchase as you purchase them.
By tucking into the storage box full of wrapping supplies early, you’ll also be able to purchase staples like clear tape or ribbons as you go instead of having those added to the already long list later on.
3. Eat The (Christmas) Frog
Any fan of self help books will be familiar with Brian Tracy’s famous phrase – eat the frog – which encourages the largest, toughest tasks to be tackled first.
The top-to-bottom list of cleaning tasks required to get your home in host-worthy condition can often become a major stressor when combined with all the other demands of the holiday season.
Tackle the deeper cleaning tasks like wiping down the baseboards or cleaning the inside of your oven as early on as possible, and don’t be afraid to enlist the help of your family!
4. Choose Empathy
It’s easy to let expectations run high around the holiday season and allowing this mindset to take root can often lead to disappointments and extra stress.
Hoping for the perfect gift from that special someone?
Praying Aunt Ethel won’t hit any nerves with awkward topics and intrusive questions at the dinner table?
It’s easy for extra family time around the holidays to become stressful but by choosing to approach any disappointments with empathy, you won’t only make for a more peaceful party but a less stressful experience for yourself.
Try to understand their point of view, circumstances or reasoning behind their actions and instead of scoffing at them and allowing yourself to become upset, choose to let it go.
5. A Card Counts
Getting caught up in trying to make everyone in your life feel considered and appreciated during the holiday season can become consuming.
Release the expectations that you may put on yourself of having to give a gift to everyone who matters in your life.
By writing a present purchasing list that includes everyone from the milk man to your dentist, you’re setting yourself, and your wallet, up for disaster.
Decide to write out a thoughtful and personalized card for individuals in your life that you’d like to include, and if you have the time, consider a batch of home baked Christmas cookies instead of a gift, to show you care.
Do you have any go-to tips that you follow around Christmas to create a stress free holiday season for you and your family?