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Posted by on Nov 26, 2012 in Guest Posts | 0 comments

Keeping it Simple for the Holidays

The holidays can be an extremely busy time for all of us. Between baking a million varieties of cookies, planning and making gifts, shopping, and everything else. But shouldn’t the holidays be all about the meaning behind the season and spending time with family? Where do we go wrong? Here are some tips to keep your holidays in check!

1. Become A List Person

Make a good list of each person that you need to buy or make a gift for and plan out what you would like to get for them. Put this list in your purse or in your car so you can keep it with you while you are out shopping.

2. Set A Baking Day

Instead of making all your cookies on random days, set aside a baking day so you can try and make as much as you can at
once. This way you have all your ingredients out at the same time and there will be less confusion and less clean up in the end. Or instead of baking all the cookies yourself, have a cookie exchange with friends. Each friend will make a large batch of one kind of cookie and then you exchange so you end up with several different kinds!

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3. Homemade Gifts

If you are too busy with other things, don’t feel like you absolutely have to make the time to make a homemade gift. There are plenty of cute things that you can put together that your gift recipient will love and you won’t feel stressed about getting homemade gifts finished. However, if you did want something with a personal touch you can still add to your store bought gift by including a thoughtful note, or something small you can add to the gift that you know the receiver will appreciate.

4. Make A Holiday Gift Budget And Stick With It

The best way to do this is to start putting away a little each month towards your holiday and gift budget. If you stick with your budget over the holidays, your life will be much simpler when January rolls around and you don’t have those credit card bills to pay! It will also reduce stress during the holiday season knowing that you aren’t spending more than you can afford.

5. Plan A Gift Exchange

If you have a large family it will take so much stress off your budget and off your planning if you only have to buy for one person. We’ve done this for many years in our household. We set a limit that each person can spend on their gift recipient and it remains a surprise who has your name until Christmas Day. We all still purchase each other stocking gifts, but only have the one person to buy larger gifts for.

6. Focus Your Time

Instead of focusing on the gifts, focus on the time you will spend together. If you have little ones it might be hard to take the focus off the presents but try and make sure they understand how exciting family game day will be, or plan a fun activity for the whole family like ice skating, finding the perfect tree, or serving at a local soup kitchen together.

No matter what your holiday traditions are or how you plan on spending them, enjoy your family, enjoy your time together. Focus on the family and not on the fluff. That alone will keep your holidays simple!

Guest blogger Merissa Alink is a Savings.com DealPro and founder of Little House Living, a website helping others learn how to make the most with what they have.

 

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