Sunday, December 5, 2010
5 Ways to Keep it Simple Amidst Holiday Chaos
1. Forget the Jones'. The day after Thanksgiving I began feeling the pressure of keeping up with the Jones' when I saw everyone in my neighborhood putting up their lights. It's sometimes helpful to remind yourself that being realistic with what you can handle and spending money that is within your means is the true way to enjoying the holidays.
2. Limit Your Commitments. December is a month when we get a million invites to friend's holiday party, work parties, cookie exchanges, and lots more. While it's fun to see our friends, it's also necessary to consider what commitments you can do without going crazy (before we go crazy!) I know a couple that got tired of trying to go to both sets of parents every Christmas and ended up not enjoying the holiday. They decided to rotate which family they see on Christmas yearly and are much happier with that arrangement. I know another family that had the best Thankgiving this year because they ordered Boston Market and didn't worry about cooking or cleaning up.
3. Enjoy the moments. Yesterday I was sitting with Sienna while she was pretending to read a book. When she got to the end she exclaimed, "Amen" instead of "The End". It was such a sweet memory that I put in my pocket and carry around with me to make me smile!
4. Budget. Talk to your spouse or take a look at your budget (if your single) and budget for gifts and then stick to it. Nothing is more stressful than living outside your means and knowing you can't afford what your spending. Keep it simple and focus on the joy of the holidays rather than the gifts. Your kids will be happy no matter what they get and you will have the satisfaction knowing that you will not have to pick up a second job just to pay for their gifts.
5. Prepare Ahead. Communicate now about where you would like to spend the day or evening and if you're going somewhere communicate ahead of time what you will be bringing. Start gift lists and begin wrapping soon so it doesn't get to be too much on Christmas eve!