Holiday Stress and how to avoid the added stress

8:45 AM

I think it is only natural that everyone stresses during the holiday season. We are now only 90      days out from Christmas and for many, the stress as well as the anticipation starts now. 

What really gets me off on a rant this time of year though, is seeing stores adorned with Christmas decorations. Can we please get through Halloween first? Not to mention it seems Thanksgiving has become just a passing Holiday to get to Christmas. I always loved Thanksgiving as a child. I got to see family that otherwise lived far and away and spend time with my cousins and eat wonderful food. It was a time of family and making memories that not even Christmas could compare too. what i wish, for my family, is that i could talk my extended family in to coming to my home for Thanksgiving, We have the room and we have the largest family! It will never happen, but a girl can dream, right?

Now, as the Holiday season approaches, i am already thinking of things, planning ahead and trying to anticipate what may or may not be happening. 

What do my children want for Christmas? Can you imagine having 7 kids opening gifts on Christmas morning? It is chaos, but it is a time i will always cherish. We don't go all out for birthday's, but Christmas is the one time of year i like to give my kids things they really want. Granted, they don't get Ipads or $500 laptops, we do set a limit and we stick to that limit.

I start early on the stocking stuffers and fill in gifts that i think my kids will like or get a kick out of. You do not have to break the bank to get things your children or other family members will enjoy. Look for deals on Amazon ( they have markdowns daily and always have gold box deals) so many other online retailers start running specials this time of year. How about a monthly subscription box? I know my Mom would love to get a new box of goodies in the mail each month. 

When my kids were smaller, they always got a new pair of Pajamas each Christmas and i always let them open them on Christmas Eve. That was exciting for them even if it wasn't toys or a new game, because they know, Christmas Eve, no staying up late because no matter how old you get, Santa still has to come visit. If this is a tradition or something on your list for the holidays, now is the best time to buy Winter jammies because stores have them on sale.

Another way to beat the Holiday spending cycle is to purchase gift cards in advance, not to give as gifts but to use for gifts. If you like to spread your spending out, find sites that sell discounted gift cards, purchase what you can afford now and wait for the big sales ( especially Black Friday) so you can utilize those sales. That way, you get a discounted gift card, you hit up the store sales to save even more money and you are not stressing or cutting corners the week of Thanksgiving just so you can shop those sales. Plan ahead!

Another way to ease stress, for me, is to freeze meals. If i make Lasagna one night for dinner, i double up on the recipe and freeze half. This way, i am not spending a whole day freezing meals, but allowing myself to plan ahead without wasting any extra time. When i need a meal and am short on time, i just grab something from the freezer and pop it in. I am not a big out of the box cook, so i end up with meals such as Lasagna, Chili, Stew, meatballs and such. 

You know all of those samples you get throughout the year? Teachers love them. What i do is go to the Dollar Tree or somewhere and buy inexpensive bags or baskets, etc some colored tissue and a bow...I sort out all of my samples into piles and see how many gifts i can make with them. I always make sure to add atleast 1 full size product from my stockpile. I get rave reviews each year on these gifts and you will too!

Between now and Christmas, i will bring you different products and ideas 2-3 times per week that will save you time, money, stress or all of the above. No matter if you have $5 to spend or $500, i will show you ways to make that go the farthest!

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