I find it terribly sad that I’ve heard more people say “I hate the holidays” than “I love the holidays”. Even though I totally understand it … I find it really sad. If you’re overwhelmed by all the stuff you have to get done for the holiday season then you’re really missing the reason for the season.
Here are a few tips (remember in order for any of this to really help you simplify the holiday season, you have to be more honest with your family and loved ones about what you can and can’t get done AND what you don’t want to do … even if it’s “tradition”) …
- Consider not giving gifts this year
Wait … WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT? Yes …. I really said it. The statistics about credit card debt are absolutely shocking and a lot of that happens around Christmas, because people think they have to find the perfect gift. Guess what …. you really don’t. Seriously try to remember what someone gave you for Christmas 3 years ago. I’m betting you can’t do it. So was it really worth the worry, the shopping and the debt? Nope.
If you must give gifts consider these other options:
- donations to universally liked charities (everyone supports finding a cure for cancer or helping homeless pets … so go with a safe option … please do NOT donate to the NRA in the name of your anti-gun aunt or send money to Planned Parenthood in the name of your ultra conservative grandpa …. that’s just not cool … you wouldn’t want that done to you, so don’t do it to someone else)
- restaurant gift cards or schedule a time to take someone out for dinner …. conversation and sharing a meal mean so much more than cheap crap they don’t need anyway … everybody has to eat!
- a personal card or letter telling the person what they mean to you and how they’ve changed your life for the better … even nicer if you decorate it too
- a handmade gift … I’m not crafty at all so all of my gifts would probably be pinecone critters, but by gosh they would be the best damn pinecone critters I’ve ever made … there are plenty of simple handmade gifts you can make and if you are absolutely mortified at the idea of being artsy then spend a few minutes on Etsy …. they have lots of handmade and homemade things that would make great gifts
- Do NOT cook any entire meal by yourself or host a party on your own
Potluck! Potluck! Potluck !!!! Even if they can only bring a bag of Doritos and some Mountain Dew … ask them to !!! Divide up the food and make the plans simple. A party with cheese dip and beer weenies is still a party!
- Minimize your decorations
If you really don’t like some of your decorations, why are you still hauling them out of the basement or attic every year? Sort! Sort! Sort !!! Donate the ones you don’t really like. Toss anything broken, faded or just plain ugly. You’re going to have them out anyway, so it’s a perfect time to Declutter the Decorations.
- Be smarter about shopping
Lists are amazing things people. USE THEM !!! I have a wonderful app on my phone called ColorNote. You can use it to make plain lists or checklists. You can even color code them (hence the name).
You can also call the stores and ask the managers when their slowest times are. If your kids go to bed at 8, leave them with the hubby and head to Target. It makes no sense to spend twice as much time fighting crowds when you go to the store at 5 o’clock, along with everyone else.
Remember that people who truly love you, love you for who you are NOT what you can do for them or what you give them.
Be honest about how much you can actually get done and give yourself the gifts of peace and sanity this year.
Follow me on Twitter … Now! @slappyintheface
If you are new to this funky place Start Here