Tuesday, December 2, 2014

5 Tips for a Stress Free Holiday

Blogmas Day 2

Hello All! With Christmas right around the corner, I wanted to take a moment to talk about holiday stress. For me, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, but it's also the busiest. With parties to attend, presents to buy, and family to visit there is a lot to pack into the month of December. And things can get a bit stressful. However, with a little planning and preparation it doesn't have to be. So here are my five easy tips on how to manage holiday stress. 

Make a List & Check it Twice 
I am a big fan of lists and schedules so I always take a moment to sit down and plan out my holiday season. It helps me to maximize my time and my budget. In my list, I include anything extra that I want to take care of in relation to the holidays...
  • Decorations 
  • Supplies: cards, wrapping paper, etc.
  • Holiday Crafts  
  • Charitable Giving  
  • Christmas Gifts
  • Stocking Stuffers 
  • Celebrations & Festivities  
  • Extra Baking 
  • Hosting: parties or dinners  
  • Holiday Travel 
  • Boxing Day/After Christmas Sales

Set Deadlines
In order to make sure that I have enough time to get everything done, I like to set "due dates" just like I would for my school assignments. My Christmas cards will be sent out no later than December 8th and I want to be completely finished with buying and wrapping presents by the 20th. My life probably sounds a bit over-planned, but doing this ensures that I'm spending the days leading up to Christmas enjoying time with my family instead of running last minute errands. 

Create a Budget & Stick to It 
Once I have everything mapped out, it's time to set a budget. The experts all agree that holiday spending is one of the leading causes of holiday stress so take control by setting a strict budget. The key is to make sure that your budget is realistic for what you are trying to accomplish and what you are able to spend. I also find it helpful to assign general amounts to each category of my list. That way I don't overspend in one area or another. 

Stock up Early 
At the beginning of December, I like to stock up on supplies. I will pack my pantry with baking essentials and easy hors d'oeuvres for effortless entertaining. I bulk up on crafting and wrapping supplies. I also like to purchase a few universal gifts so just in case I left someone off my list, I don't have to run out for last minute presents. 

Reflect & Reconsider 
If you can do it all, that's great but if you are still feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, it may be time to reconsider your holiday goals. Because at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter that you haven't finished decorating the house or baked a million cookies. What matters is that you are enjoying time with your loved ones and focusing on creating memories. 

Have a Stress Free Holiday!

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