It’s the holiday season. That time of year where everyone is either sickeningly extra cheerful or as grouchy as Ebenezer Scrooge. Everyone is hustling and bustling, buying food, clothes, toys, whatever is on a Christmas list or will be on the holiday menu. It can be stressful, it can be fun, and it can be stressful…I said that twice for a reason. I’ve seen it so many times and have experienced it too many times to count. My money and energy being drained to make sure family, friends, and/or significant other have everything they want or need. I, on the other hand, am either too stressed to enjoy the moment or getting some type of joy or pleasure knowing I was able to provide this holiday season.
There are ways to get through the holiday “shuffle” to make it more joyous and fun, and you don’t have to go broke or have a breakdown in the process!
- Buy presents early – this will save you time and money. When you see deals, jump on them. Bath and Body Works has sales throughout the year, and everybody and their mama loves a good splash or lotion. Why not rack up on the year ‘round sales and save yourself the hassle of shopping last minute!
- Outlet Shopping – whether it’s last years or from 2 years ago, who’s really going to notice the pair of shades that you got at a discount? No one! Shop the outlets, know the brands and the deals that are going on and load up.
- Coupons/Promo Codes – these are your friends. And why would they not be if they’re built to give you extra savings? I love shopping online and I’m always on the hunt for a promo code or coupon code from in my emails having signed up for the extra 15% off. There’s a great site called Honey that scours the net for you in search of codes. Add this extension to Safari or Chrome and you’re in the money, literally! As for coupon codes, sign up online for your favorite stores to get the extra percentage off. Save them and make sure you’re aware of when they expire. Add this extension to Safari or Chrome and you’re in the money, literally! As for coupon codes, sign up online for your favorite stores to get the extra percentage off. Save them and make sure you’re aware of when they expire.
- Holiday menu: get help! – it’s easy to say you’re going to host Christmas dinner this year and you have all the recipes from Pinterest you could find to make your dishes look festive and pretty and make your parents and in-laws, or potential in-laws, proud. But it’s not that simple. Make it so your job as host/hostess is just that. Have other family members or friends cook a dish and bring it. If you want to make a dish or dishes, do so, but prepare yourself ahead of time. Have someone help you get things in order. No matter how much you’ve worked out in the gym or seen your mother, grandmother, aunts, etc. cooking in the kitchen, believe me they will all say the next day their back hurts. Sorry, but it’s the truth!
- Give back – giving back through community service will give you a sense of purpose, no matter how cliché that sounds. When you can give to folks that have seemingly less than you it makes a difference. Volunteering for a soup kitchen, Salvation Army Christmas Tree Angels, senior citizens home, Beds 4 Kids, etc. there are a number of organizations that need help during the holidays and giving a hand to those in need will make you feel part of the greater good within your community.
- Don’t stress – this is easier said than done but if you know what you want to buy, how much money you have to spend, and the time you have to get things in order, trust me, stressing over the holidays will be the least of your worries.
Holidays are meant to be fun. They’re meant to be shared and spent with loved ones, and even if you don’t have loved ones, spending time with those that need that warmth for the holidays means a lot. Think of what the holidays mean to you and what it should represent. At the end of the day, it’s not about the presents or the amount of money you spend but the people that you share your time with. Make your holidays full and bright, full of laughter, memories and joy.