Stress Free Holiday Season

2012-11-30   minute read

This post was originally created byWanda Zenner at MNP Ltd. The Christmas Season is meant to be filled with happiness and joy. However these feelings quickly change as we become caught up in the moment of spreading holiday cheer by means of expensive gifts. Before you pull out that credit card, consider the following:Probably the most important aspect, is to budget all year for what you think you need to spend for gifts, entertainment, extra groceries. Then you simply divide that amount by 12 and you know how much per month to set aside. Now if that "Christmas" budget amount does not fit into your regular budget, then you need to re-evaluate the total expected Christmas expense until the budget is balanced. Consider cost-savings ideas such as Christmas wrap and tags – reusable cloth gift bags instead of rolls of paper, or vintage cookie tins, Christmas towels etc. from the second hand store or dollar store work great. Re-use old Christmas cards to create gift bag ties and re-use bows you receive for next year. Instead of buying for all members of your family – both immediate and extended, consider doing a gift exchange where a limit per item has been set. Consider home-made gifts – who would not love a jar of homemade jam, box of homemade cookies, framed favorite family photo etc. As the spirit of Christmas is certainly evoked in the family meal, consider having those who are attending bring specific entries, dessert etc. The most wonderful meals can be those where everyone has contributed. Consider changing to LED lights which use 99% less energy than traditional lights. This could easily off-set the higher energy costs during the holiday season. Consider car-pooling for shopping for the Holiday Season. The most precious gift of all can be time spent with family and friends. If a friend cannot find affordable child care so she can shop, offer to babysit. Visit the "shut-ins" – arrive with a surprise such as a cup of homemade hot chocolate. Such a small gesture would make their holiday season much more enjoyable. Most important – take time for you – sit back and smell "the chestnuts roasting on an open fire".

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