It’s that time of year again. Everything is picking up and getting busier and busier. You need an easy, realistic plan to get everything done without spending a fortune and, if you’re like me, you needed it yesterday.
Here are a few simple tips that I’m using to survive and thrive in this holiday season. First up – the non-essentials:
Cut Back on Non-Essentials. This could go for everything really. Do you really need to have a case of soda or 10 boxes of crackers? What if you ran out, really it would be no big deal. Let them go, you don’t have to buy everything because it’s available. What did I do this year to cut back? We only put out half of our Christmas decorations, and I let the kids decorate the tree on their own (which means all of the ornaments are at the front on the bottom of our tree). How do I feel about it? Great – we probably didn’t need that stuff anyway.
Eliminate things you don’t want anymore. Over Thanksgiving break, I filled 5 XL trash bags with donations and my husband has been selling everything in the house that we’ve outgrown. Why? We’ve realized that we already have everything we need and if we’re not using it – we don’t need it. I breathed a sigh of relief as I was carrying those items to our donations pile – good riddance! And I know someone else can use it, after it was good stuff. Just not stuff we needed.
Make gifts instead of buying them. Does that sound harder? Think of it this way. A day at home with just your family relaxing and having fun or fighting the wild crowds of strangers at the local retailer. People like heart-felt and homemade gifts. Plus they’re usually cheaper. Try finding something simple like a painted canvas, homemade citrus cleaner or brownie mix. Believe me, your gift will mean so much more. This year, we’re doing a Pinterest Christmas and I’m so excited because I’ve really had to be creative to make gifts for everyone on our list – but we did it and it was less stressful!
Set limits on spending and stick to them. Make a list of the people you need to purchase gifts for this holiday season. Set a price limit for each gift and include taxes and shipping as appropriate. Don’t overspend from this limit! No one wants you to go broke – it really is the thought that counts (see “make gifts instead of buying them above”)
Share abundantly. If you’re like me, you’ve been stocking your gift closet all year. Well, this year, don’t hold anything back. Give gifts to teachers, school helpers, service professionals, the little old lady up the street – think of everyone you can and clean out your great deals gift closet – after all, most of the fun is finding the deals and the icing on the cake is sharing the joy with others.
Figure out what works for you and incorporate this into your holiday season. If it helps you, saves you time, saves you money and saves your sanity – it’s worth it!