Custom Navbar

Friday, November 29, 2013

It's the Holiday Season

As far as I'm concerned it's the "most wonderful time of the year," however my husband doesn't always agree, particularly when I turn on the Christmas music in October. As the time draws nearer, with the sparkly lights and blankets of snow, it's just splendid!

As much as I love Christmas time though I can't deny that it can be a very stressful time of year. Since getting married, Jake and I have endured the trials and triumphs of juggling family visits and traveling on snow-covered roads. The stress can get out of hand if I'm not careful.

Probably the most stressful aspect of the season is the shopping - shopping, shopping, shopping - but with long lines, pushy people, and a limited window of opportunity what should be a girl's dream come true can easily turn into a nightmare. Here are some tips to making this holiday season more enjoyable for the penny pinching pro:

1. Create a budget for you holiday spending. Hopefully you have been doing this throughout the year by putting aside some money for gifts, but if not decide now what you can and cannot afford and commit to going plastic free this Christmas.

2. Limit the amount of trips to the stores. Plan ahead, make your list, and then go shopping. The less time you spend in the stores with the masses the less stressful you may find yourself, and the less you'll spend on gifts you don't really need to buy.

3. Consider how you have been gift giving and how you might want to change it. Growing up my parents had a set budget they would spend on each of us kids, which would usually amount to about 10 presents for each of us. Now just imagine with six kids in our house, that was 60 presents! Not including the gifts we got for our parents, and those that we got for each other. Now as a kid, I loved it! In fact I would have probably thrown a fit been sad if they tried to change it, but now that I'm an adult - or at least pretend to be - and am contemplating how I want to handle gift-giving with my own kids I've decided that I want to keep it simple. My husband and I have decided that maybe three gifts, each representing one of the three gifts given to Jesus from the wise men, would be a good way of not only limiting our holiday spending, but also drawing some attention to the real meaning of the season. If you don't have kids already, or they are really little, now would be the best time to change what you do for gift giving.

4. Don't be afraid to go homemade! Whether it be spending time baking together as a family or with friends, or making some of the gifts you give to others, consider how you can make the holidays a special time without breaking the bank. And at all costs, do NOT start dipping into that "emergency fund" for Christmas. Christmas is not an emergency!

5. Create traditions or keep some of your childhood traditions alive. Consider giving each other new PJ's on Christmas Eve so you look half decent great for pictures on Christmas morning or have a family Christmas movie marathon. (Both of which are things that we do. *smiles proudly*) Traditions can be so much fun, and they can give you something to look forward to continuing each year.

Hopefully these five things will help to make your holidays less stressful and more enjoyable. And don't forget what this season is all about: celebrating our Savior's birth! Make that your focus and it will be a wonderful time of year.

Let us know what you do to keep your stress level low on Christmas. Got any favorite family traditions? How do you give gifts in your family? Leave a comment below.

Keep pinchin' :-)

No comments:

Post a Comment