I don't mean to just rush into Christmas stuff and ignore the fact that Thanksgiving is just a few days away (Yay!)...but in order to have a less stressful Christmas the preparations should start very soon.
Did you know the #1 stress around Christmas time is financial burdens? Buying Christmas presents is one of the things I enjoy most but also stress about the most. The other day I calculated how many people my husband buy gifts for and the total came to about 20 family members (luckily we don't typically buy for friends...sorry guys :) Although my husband does get a small Christmas bonus, the cost of our flights home eat up the majority of it, leaving less than I would like for presents. Which is why I decided it's time to make some changes so Christmas can be more enjoyable.
A couple of weeks ago I was able to attend a church activity where we talked about different things you can do around the holidays to make it a less stressful time of year. Here are a few tips that I think will be most beneficial...
1. Make a gift list - Write down everyone you need to buy gifts for, what you intend the buy them, and how much you are
2. Create a "Christmas Activities" calendar - I don't know about you, but I have so many small traditions that I like to do before Christmas rolls around and everything seems to get forgotten until it's too late. To avoid this, write down everything you would like to do and figure out the best day to schedule your activities. For example, caroling, delivering cookies, attending the nutcracker, or watching your favorite Christmas movies. This way, you wont feel the "Christmas activities overload" when you've discovered there's just not enough time to do everything you had intended.
3. Get your baking done early - Take inventory of the traditional cookies you like to make around Christmas time. I bet most of them can be baked and frozen until it's time to start munching!
4. Get Creative - If gift giving is something that currently seems out of the question (due to finances) get creative with handmade gifts! There are so many different DIY gift ideas and tutorials online right now that can really save you a lot of money. If your not up for crafting, consider baking some yummy treats, or even giving service (my dad would appreciate me listing that last one!).
5. Start Now! I use to think it was a crime to start doing Christmas activities too early. I thought that "Black Friday" was completely ridiculous, and people shouldn't be in such a rush to get Christmas out of the way. Yet, now that I'm older and have more holiday responsibilities then just buying my brother and sister's a gift, I realize that early preparations are the best way to escape any Christmas frustration and allows me more time to spend with family and friends.
What are some ways you try to avoid holiday stress?
Photo Credit: Irish Central