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Who doesn’t want a stress free holiday season? If we can organize our time during the holidays to be more efficient, this will allow us more time to relax! Below are a few tips I have found that help with organizing holiday time.
Set a budget for gift buying and stick to it.
Before you start buying gifts, set a budget that you will stick to. If it helps, make a list of who you will be buying gifts for and a desired amount to spend on each person. Don’t forget to include at least an extra $40.00 for those unexpected gifts, such as a gift exchange at a Christmas party or a new friend. If you are talented with crafts or art, save money by creating a handmade gift for a friend. I find that handmade gifts are so much more cherished for the time and love put into them.
Do not try to buy all of your gifts in one day.
I have been guilty of this, so I feel a little hypocritical including it. I have to, though, because it is true. There is nothing more stressful then if you have procrastinated to the last minute, and now you are in a crowded shopping center trying to buy all of your gifts at one time! A better plan, each time you are at the store, throughout the month, have your gift list in mind and pick up at least one gift in that outing. If you spread out your gift buying, it will free up more of your time and reduce a lot of stress in the gift giving process.
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Wrap your gifts one day at a time.
Save time spent gift wrapping by wrapping a gift or two a day throughout the month. Another option is to use gift bags (this is a great option not only for time saving, but for those that are not that great at wrapping). If you spread out your gift wrapping, your gift is ready to give when it is needed and you are not spending a whole day on wrapping. A lot of organizations do gift wrapping as a fund raiser, consider this option to save time and to give to the less fortunate this season.
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If your house is full of guests for the holidays, take time to step away from the chaos
Not to say having guests is always chaos, but let’s face it, sometimes we just need time to regroup. Each day that your company is there, plan at least 30 minutes (or more if needed) for yourself. Take time for to go for a walk, run a few errands on your own, wake up early to have a peaceful morning, or retire early to your room in the evening for some alone time.
Serve someone in need
There is no greater feeling than to help someone in need. Shovel a walkway for a neighbor, take dinner to a sick friend, find a family in need and donate some gifts, help someone who is less mobile with their errands, or visit someone who is lonely. If you look around you, I am sure you will find others who are in need of service. I know it sounds weird, because helping others takes time out of your own busy schedule, but serving others brings a peace to your life and can reduce your own stress greatly.
Give yourself at least one free day on your calendar a week.
Have at least one day that is yours. A day you can just enjoy and not worry about things that need to get done or holiday events. If you can only do half a day a week do that. If you try hard enough, I know you can find a day to allow for this. You need a day to relax and not have to run around keeping up with everything. This will greatly help your sanity over the holidays.
Schedule time for the things you love about the holiday.
If you really want to enjoy the holidays, do something you love throughout the season at least once a day. Something as small as cuddling up with a cup of hot chocolate in the evening can bring you joy. If you include daily activities to bring you joy and peace during the holidays, this will greatly reduce stress. Some of my favorite holiday activities, driving through the neighborhood to look at Christmas lights, watching Christmas movies, playing Christmas music whenever I am in my car, baking my favorite goodies for the holidays, or putting on my favorite comfy pajamas at night with a rich cup of hot chocolate.
Points to remember:
- Set a budget for gift buying;
- Do not shop for your gifts all in one day;
- Spread your gift wrapping throughout the month;
- Take time out from house guests;
- Serve someone in need;
- Give yourself one day a week with nothing scheduled for that day;
- Schedule time for the things you love about the holiday.
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