Thanksgiving is almost here and I hope you all have lots to be Thankful for in your lives. In the USA, Thanksgiving is celebrated with family and friends, a large meal and football/napping (sometimes at the same time!). This also marks the start of the Christmas season with the shopping, decorating and partying associated with this time of year. This all sounds grand and fun, but it can be quite stressful also. So how can we have more fun and less stress? Here are a few tips:
- Plan ahead. I don’t mean that you have to plan every thing to the minutest detail, but have a basic plan so that you can manage your schedule and enjoy this time of year, not dread it. Prepare your holidays meals as much in advance as possible, such as prepping vegetables, making stuffing and desserts and then just heat or reheat them on the holiday and add to the items that can’t be done ahead.
- Make a budget. Decide what you are going to spend on gifts and food and travel and stick to it. Make it a reasonable budget, this isn’t the time to go cheap, but stick to it.
- Buy fewer gifts. Children, and adults (for that matter), don’t need instant gratification and they don’t need to be buried in toys/presents. Get them things that they truly want and will appreciate and maybe a few things they need and STOP! People get so many gifts that they can’t even remember what they got and that is particularly true for children. Buy sparingly, but meaningfully. This is a holiday, not a contest!
- Learn to say NO. We can’t be everywhere and do everything. Choose the parties and activities that are the most important to you and your family and say no to the rest. You can change it up next year, but clear the schedule a bit and the holidays are more meaningful, as well as, more fun for all of us!
I hope these suggestions will help you have a less stressful and much happier holiday season! I hope you have many blessings and good things this holiday season!