stress free holidays

Have the holidays stressed you out? Are you way behind on shopping, gift wrapping, and party planning? Don't worry; it happens to the best of us. Here are a few tips to help you prevent holiday stress!

There are only 2 weeks (14 days) until Christmas, which means you are running out of time to shop, decorate, and plan those holiday parties. For those of you who are Jewish, you have only 5 days until you light that first menorah candle. Feeling a little stressed already?? Well, you aren’t alone. This morning I turned on the TV and was inundated with holiday commercials! I began to panic, sweat, and worry I wouldn’t have time to prepare and truly enjoy the season.

My family and I celebrate Christmas; it has always been my favorite holiday (thanks Mom-I love you for that!) and each year I try to minimize my stress and truly enjoy the music, decorations, movies, and social gatherings of the season. How do I manage to do that when I have a job and other personal responsibilities? Well, over the years I have cultivated my “Santa bag of tips and tricks” for getting my shopping completed in a timely manner, with the lowest amount of stress possible!

Tip #1:

Get started early! Take it from a fellow procrastinator, if the only time you plan ahead all year long is for the holidays, then so be it. Make your shopping list, grocery list, and mark those special dates on your calendar EARLY. That way, you won’t be caught overbooking yourself or waiting until the last minute to do your shopping. Retailers have great sales all year long, not just on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, or during the holiday shopping season. This leads me to my next tip...

Tip #2:

Don't stress about things. Throughout this busy holiday time remember the reason for the season. It's okay if your decorations don't look like they came out of Elle Décor magazine or if your bows on your gifts aren't completely symmetrical and centered. Remember to spend time with your family and enjoy your holidays!

Tip #3:

Shop online when you can. Many online retailers offer free shipping, which is great if your entire family lives out of state (like mine). This way, with what you’re saving on shipping, you can put towards paying for gift wrapping and have the items sent directly to them.

Tip #4:

Use online tools such as Amazon’s online wish list or Google shopping list, both of which you can simply share via email. Elfster.com, Gifster.com or Checkedtwice.com are great options too; they are online gift registry sites that are free and easy to use! Create your list online, then share with friends and family; you can even draw names to see who buys for who. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or any other holiday, enjoy the reason for the season by spending time with friends and family, not worrying about whether or not you will get your shopping done. Planning ahead and using these helpful tips and tricks will keep your stress at bay. If not, just drink a little more eggnog; that should do the trick!

Photo credits: www.punchbowl.com, www.lifebalancehealthcoach.com, www.goodmoneyadvice.com,

www.suburbsmama.blogspot.com

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