Your Guide for Managing the Holidays
November 27, 2019 | by amanda ryan
The holidays are a magical time for many of us. The decorations, the classic holiday songs, the lights, and most importantly, the time we get to enjoy with our loved ones.
While the holiday season is a great time of year, it can also be really stressful because So Much goes into them.
The gifts, the decorating, the get togethers, the money! Ah, the money…
It’s a lot, especially when you are balancing work, taking care of kids, and hosting family from out of town.
While the holidays are always going to be a busy time, there are plenty of ways that you can make them a little more manageable. In fact, we created a guide with some tips for managing the holidays!
To see how you can take some of that stress out of the holidays and make more room for fun, check out our suggestions…
Make A List of Everyone You Need to Buy For
Have you ever tried to mentally keep track of everyone you need to get gifts for? It’s tough! As you are seeing toys, jewelry, perfumes, and everything else on display at the mall, you keep being reminded of another person you are supposed to grab a gift for!
- “Oh, a teddy bear! I’m going to be with my nieces this year, I better grab something for them!”
- “There’s my aunt’s favorite perfume, I totally forgot they are going to be in town for Christmas this year! I better grab something for her to open!”
- “Wow, the CD my friends from school and I used to listen to, maybe I should grab them a little something…”
The list keeps growing longer and longer and you end up just grabbing things randomly in the moment, which ends up costing you a fortune!
If you’re anything like me and have had this problem way too many times, then making a list will be a lifesaver for you.
Write down everyone you want to shop for on a notepad. While you do this, take inventory of all the people in your life; friends, family, coworkers, etc. Decide who you want to include in your holiday gift-giving and create a master list to keep referring to.
There are also apps (of course there are) to use to help you track your holiday shopping lists. Organized by person, you can track purchases made, how much you’ve spent, and even if you’ve wrapped your gifts!
Create a Budget and Stick to It
The holidays can be a really stressful time financially for people, especially if money is a little bit tight as it is. Creating a budget for gift spending can alleviate this stress dramatically!
Start off by making a budget for what you want to spend in total for gifts, then begin planning out how much you will spend on each person. Planning per person once you have a general number will keep you (hopefully) from splurging on gifts while you’re shopping.
It can be so tempting to spend, and spend, and spend on those we love, however, it’s definitely not a necessity for having an enjoyable holiday.
Have a Potluck for Holiday Celebrations
We’ve all seen it; the host who does literally everything for holiday gatherings. They cook all the food, decorate the home, set the table, entertain, and clean up at the end.
While it’s really common to feel pressure to be a one man/woman show when you host, there’s nothing wrong with asking for a little bit of help.
After all, it’s hard to enjoy a get together when you are running around and working the whole time!
A potluck is perfect for taking some of that pressure off the host’s shoulders. If each person, or family, can bring an item then you will have plenty of food without the pressure of one person preparing it all.
Not only does chipping in for the meal help save the host some time, it also helps save them some money. Who doesn’t appreciate that around the holidays?
Give Yourself Permission
To not do ALL the things this holiday season. As a family, determine the moments that will mean the most to you and do those while letting the others go.
Is this time of year not the same without a family baking day? Make it happen. Are Christmas lights your family's everything? Gas up the car and go. Is the idea of creating the perfect holiday scene stressing you out? Take a page from Elsa's book and Let it go. Basically, Marie Kondo up your holiday season and take out that which doesn't bring you and yours joy this holiday season.
There you have it! Your guide to managing the holidays this season.
Good luck, and happy celebrating!
Amanda Ryan is a freelance writer specializing in child and family content. Within this content area she has about 5 years of experience. Her love for learning about family life led to earning a bachelor’s degree in child and family development from Western Michigan University. She loves to research and write about the things that can help make parenting a little easier!