streamlining the holidays: focusing on the important things
Happy holidays, everyone! It is incredible how quickly this year has passed us by and now here we are preparing to tuck in for the holidays and enjoy spending time with friends and family. And that is exactly what the holidays should be about, right?
Too often we get caught up in the commercialism of the holidays and end up blowing our spending budgets on gifts we can’t afford or even gifts that our loved ones don’t necessarily need. There are so many more important aspects to this time of year that we might forget about as we are hustled and bustled about in the busy-busy of daily life.
Today I am sharing my tips for streamlining the holidays so that you can focus on the important things like feeling the spirit of the holidays, keeping spending down and enjoying time with friends and family. Here are my four tips to streamline your holiday:
Reach Out + Give Back
One of the most important messages that you can be sharing with your family at this time of year is how crucial it is to give back to the community. Gathering together to volunteer at the foodbank, work a shift at your local soup kitchen or preparing gifts for families in need, can prove to be the best gift you’ll receive this year. Try random acts of kindness like paying for parking at your local children’s hospital or leaving a $50 bill at the drive-thru coffee shop to pay for everyone’s coffee behind you. These simple acts can leave you with a better sense of the holidays than any wish list could.
A great way to cut back on unnecessary spending this year is to do a stocking exchange this Christmas. Instead of everyone loading up everyone else with gifts, why not draw names for stockings – allowing each person to have one family member to shop for and really personalize their gift? A good rule of thumb for stockings? Include items that can either be eaten, read or spent, for example; their favorite chocolates, a few interesting magazines or books and some gift cards to their go-to coffee shops, restaurants and stores.
Gifting on Purpose
Before you head to the checkout with a cart full of gag gifts for your friends and family, reconsider whether everyone will really want more clutter in their home this year. Sometimes when you realized that you can’t think of any good gift ideas it might be a good time to ask them what they want. Perhaps a pre-loaded credit card would do the trick this year if they are a student. Or maybe they are saving up for a big purchase like a home and you can give them a gift card to a home & furniture store to help them out when they finally move. It doesn’t hurt to ask what people want and it also doesn’t hurt to give money or gift cards – sometimes a little goes a long way.
Instead of purchasing eight tickets for every single blockbuster Christmas extravaganza playing in your city, why not step back and choose one musical performance or play this year? Simple experiences can be among the most memorable experiences even without all of the flash and bustle. A day of sledding with the children in your family can bring so much joy to grandparents and extended relatives. Another great idea is to spend a day baking holiday treats with family and friends – that time spent bonding over Christmas cookies won’t be something you’ll forget for a long time.