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6 Ways to Simplify Your Holidays

Don’t let stress ruin your holiday season

The holidays can be a busy time of year. You may have gifts to purchase, parties to attend, decorations to hang, cards to send out, and family meals to prepare. On top of that, you may have year-end projects at school or work that need to be finished before the new year.

Before you have a nervous breakdown, take a step back and think about the meaning of the holidays. They are meant to be a time of joy and giving, friends and family, and relaxation and reflection. The holidays are not meant to make you crazy! Here are some ways to cut back on the stress and amp up the fun.

1. Spend less
The holidays have turned into a commercial time of year when stores want you to buy and then buy some more. Buying the latest trendy gifts may seem like a good idea at the time, but when your credit card bill arrives, you may wish you hadn’t bought so much. Try to keep it under control by using a debit card instead of a credit card.

2. Duplicate your gift ideas
Find simple gifts that you can give to several people on your list, like a container of your favorite coffee, a nice pair of gloves or mittens, or a gift certificate to a favorite store. Personalize your gifts with a handwritten, heartfelt card.

3. Switch to gift bags
Do you still use wrapping paper? Many people find that popping a gift into a gift bag is much easier and faster than wrapping presents. See if this little tip simplifies your gift giving!

4. Give yourself a break in the kitchen
Do you make a big feast for the whole extended family? Do you miss out on the holiday because you’re stuck in the kitchen? If so, give yourself a break this year. Ask someone else to host for a change. Or ask others to bring the side dishes. And don’t be afraid to cut out some cooking time by buying prepared foods.

5. Reevaluate your traditions
Have you been doing the same traditions ever since you were a child? Are they still meaningful, or have they become more of a drain of your time? If it’s the latter, it may be time to pare down your traditions. Talk with your family about shelving some of the old traditions and keeping only the ones that are most meaningful and fun.

6. Be mindful of the reason for the season
As the holidays approach, make sure you take time for yourself to appreciate the coming of another holiday and the end of another year. Take time to reflect on the positive aspects of your life and slow down enough to enjoy what makes the holidays so special.

We hope these ideas will help you find ways to cut your stress levels and get more enjoyment out of your holiday season this year and in years to come. Happy Holidays!