The holidays are not always happy. Sometimes it’s just stressful. How will we find the perfect gift for friends and family? For that matter, how will we pay for all those gifts?
Sometimes the holidays remind us of the death of a loved one or that spending time with family is not always something we look forward to.
No matter what the situation, here are a few secrets that will help make this Christmas a little more merry and bright!
Listen to Positive Podcasts and Music
Prepare yourself mentally for the season by listening to some positive, uplifting, and empowering podcasts. These podcasts will give you great ideas for your personal development.
It will also help keep you focused on what matters. Not the material items, but rather the relationships you value. One I really enjoy is called Optimal Living Daily.
Do Not Procrastinate
Make a list and check it twice. Want to make your life simpler during the holiday chaos? Plan ahead.
I plan my Christmas gifts as early as October. It is now December, but you still have plenty of time to gather the perfect gifts.
Make a list of who you need to purchase gifts for and begin your private eye investigation to find out what they need or want.
Make a Budget
Slowly watching your bank account dwindle before your eyes is probably one of the most stressful aspects of Christmas. There are a few simple ideas that can help you stick to your budget.
As your family grows, purchasing gifts for each person can become extremely costly. I know I struggle with this simply because I LOVE purchasing gifts.
Instead of individual gifts for the whole family, do a Secret Santa! This allows you to focus your attention on one person.
Rather than pulling out your hair thinking about the perfect present for each person now you only need to think about one. Give everyone the same max budget of $100 and run wild.
If you don’t want the secret to be spoiled for the one person selecting the Secret Santas, use a site called elfster.com to plan your Secret Santa gift exchange.
Create Handmade Gifts
Handmade gifts are often given a bad rap. They are seen as tacky. However, I would beg to differ.
If you are a creative individual, handmade gifts can be a cheaper and a more meaningful alternative than a gift card. Some great gifts that are cheap and simple can be found on Pinterest.
Last year, I made everyone a personalized mug for their stocking stuffer. It’s a gift that makes them smile and think of me as they sip their coffee or tea, plus, it only takes about an hour to make.
Shop Online Deals
Want to avoid the crowds? Shopping online is the perfect option. There are amazing deals online right now.
Many stores have extended Cyber Monday deals, and end of the year blow out sales. Just be sure to keep to your budget with all the exciting deals and offers you are going to be bombarded with.
IAB is right now doing a storewide 50% off! I would highly check that out if you need some high quality comfortable fitness apparel! Click here to check it out!
Pay Tribute to Loved Ones
As time passes, it is more likely that you have lost someone you love. Even if they did not pass away during the holidays, time spent with family is still a reminder of their absence.
Instead of avoiding the holidays to help forget, pay tribute to their special memory. Light a candle for them, hang a handmade ornament on the tree as a family, or write them a letter.
These actions are cathartic. It will never bring them back, but it is important not to forget, but rather celebrate the time on Earth we had with them.
Set Firm Boundaries With Family
Every family is different, some are functional, some are very dysfunctional. No matter where you land on this scale, you are still capable of being driven crazy by your fellow family members.
Boundaries are not fun, but they are extremely important to set. If you are a newbie in setting boundaries, check out the book called Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend.
This book helped me jumpstart my boundary setting and has changed my life. Give clear direction of when they are welcome and your expectations..
Create your Ideal Holiday
If you and your family are not on great terms, create your ideal holiday. Invite your closest friends over and throw a small party (or if you are up for it, throw an extravaganza).
Plan a gingerbread house contest or an ugly sweater contest. White elephant gift exchanges are cheap and loads of fun too.
Family doesn’t always mean those you were born into. Family are the people you do life with. Show them your love and appreciation and make this an amazing holiday to remember.
Whether you are looking forward to the holidays or absolutely dreading it, these secrets will help you tackle the holiday season with a smile on your face.
Fill your mind with positive things. Plan ahead.. Stick to a budget Remember loved ones that you miss. Set boundaries with your family, and have some holiday fun with friends!