It’s that time of year again: the holiday season is right around the corner. It’s a time for joy and happiness. It’s a time for spending moments with the ones we love. But for all the good things that come with the holidays, there are also stressors and pitfalls. Did I buy the right gift? Are my credit cards getting out of control? Am I putting on weight?
Take a deep breath and give yourself the gift of sanity this year. Here is everything you need to know to survive this holiday season.
Make a Holiday Budget & Stick to It
The holidays are a stressful time of year for everyone. One of the biggest stressors during the holiday comes from money. Even the most meticulous budgeting expert can get caught up in the fervor of holiday spending. Before the holidays get into full swing, make a holiday budget and stick to it. It’s not just presents that we spend money on, it’s travel, food, parties, and other expenses we don’t always consider. Having a budget, and committing to it, means you won’t have to worry about big credit card bills in the new year; it’s the single most important way to fend off holiday stress each and every year.
Ask for Help
Whether you’re planning Thanksgiving dinner or a holiday getaway, it’s natural to try to do it all yourself. No man/woman is an island, though, and you’ll find people are happy to help if you just ask. If you’re hosting a dinner or a party, ask guests to bring something like an appetizer or a bottle of wine. This will lower your prep time and save you money. When you’re considering the perfect gift for someone, call your mother, brother, or best friend to ask their opinion. The holidays are a time for giving, but they’re also a time for receiving. Reach out to those you care about—you’ll be surprised by who’s willing to lend a hand.
Keep it Simple
Yes, it’s the holidays, but that doesn’t mean everything has to be a huge, extravagant affair. Of course, a 12-foot tree certainly makes a statement, but is it necessary? Just like cleaning out your closet, it’s important to prioritize what you need and what you want. Keeping things simple can be a wonderful experience. Hot chocolate with a bagel in the morning can be just as special as a counter full of breakfast food. Take a look at what’s important to you during the holidays. Do what you want, not what you have to. Most of all, have fun, and tell those closest to you that being with them is what really matters.