Wouldn't it be nice if the holidays could go off without a hitch? It seems like the holidays are more stressful than fun. You may even find yourself wishing your were a kid again because the holidays were more enjoyable.
Don't fret. It doesn't have to be that way. The key is to start now (and you can get started now with my series – 30 Days to Get Ready for Christmas). Let's take a closer look at what you can do now to make the holidays stress-free.
Have a Budget
First things first. You need to have a Christmas budget it mind. The most stressful thing about the holidays is how much money we spend. If you find yourself paying for the holidays until the next year's holidays roll around, there's a problem. A good budget will ensure that you don't overspend on gifts, food, travel, etc.
Start Shopping Now
A great way to stick to that budget is to start shopping now. It allows you to spread out the cost of gifts and it allows you to find things on sale. Imagine all the sales you can hit between now and the holidays. You'll also be able to search through lots of clearance sections. This will greatly reduce the cost of gifts.
Buy “Just In Case” Gifts
There's always those people you never think to buy a gift for, but they buy one for you. You're left feeling awkward and find yourself telling lies about where their gift is. Don't let that happen this year. Have gifts on standby so that you can quickly pull out a gift, chuck it into a gift bag, and be done.
Make holiday plans as soon as possible. This will allow you to get everything in place well in advance. It will also allow you to save money on travel, should you be traveling this holiday season.
If you'll be cooking at home during the holidays, create menus now. This means you won't have to think about it when the time comes. It will also give you the chance to start buying ingredients to spread out the cost.
Know Your Theme
Last, but not least, know what theme you're going with this holiday season. It can be so easy to spend lots of money on decorations and not have a cohesive theme. When you have a theme in mind, your spending is more focused and less money is wasted.
These holidays don't have to be stressful. You can spend time doing the things you love and not be forced to spend every weekend in the mall, looking for the perfect gift. This year, take the stress out of the holidays.