De-Stressing Tips for the Holidays

It’s easy to get caught up in overspending during the holidays from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, but if you want to make it less stressful and more merry, here’s some tips to save money.

Christmas CardsLimit the mailed cards and you send. Instead send eCards that you can personalize and send to each person. To me they add more impact as they have music and are interactive. Plus, think of the trees you are saving by not mailing cards!

If still want to mail a card, make it a postcard instead, remember they require less postage than a regular card!

For friends and family that live out of the area make a brief phone, they would probably much rather hear your voice than receive a card in the mail.

Wrapping Paper & Gift TagsBe creative! Wrap the gift for the individual. Use magazine pages for small gifts. If it’s for a ‘foodie,’ wrap it in sheets from food catalogs. If it’s for the fashion conscious use something from a style magazine. Old magazines can be bought at thrift stores or libraries for usually 50 cents or less.
Make your own gift tags by cutting a small piece of matching wrapping paper and folding it in half.  This way you won’t waste the scraps of paper that are too small to wrap a gift, but too large to toss away.

Decorations Go old school. Pop some popcorn and some dried cranberries to string up on the tree or throughout the house! Just don’t eat it all while you are stringing it.

Decorate your house by bringing the outside in using pine cones and pine branches.  Sprinkle with a few drops of pine scented oil if you have it on hand to keep the scent fresh.

Buy tree ornaments that have meaning to you, not just because they are in bulk at a great price. Our Christmas tree is a memory tree covered in items from past vacations or special times with family. Some are actual ornaments, others are small items that we’ve glued ribbon to like sea shells or unique key chains that show the name of the place we visited. .

FoodWe’re all busy during the holidays, so maximize your cooking time. If you make a casserole make two and freeze the second one. 

Use the grocery ads when you shop and save by buying what’s on sale. Remember the key to shopping at markets, never shop when you are hungry as you’ll tend to buy junk you don’t need for your health or for your wallet.

Entertainment - Relax at home with a good movie instead of going out. Rent something with a holiday theme at one of the DVD movie kiosks or any of the online services. You’ll save on the snacks as well and may even try something a little more healthy.

Get to know your town. Take a drive around your town, or nearby neighborhoods to see their Christmas lights. Play Christmas music in your car to add to the festivity.  

Sing a song!  Many churches and groups even have caroling get-togethers join in!

Sit around a warm fire, or cozy up in the living room with blankets and hot cocoa.  Have everyone take turns saying how they have been blessed throughout the year. Being thankful shouldn’t end in November, keep the spirit going!

All the Best for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!