Thursday, November 11, 2010

10 Plus Tips Surviving the Holidays

Do you find yourself in a frenzy during the holiday season? Are you running around like a chicken with your head cut off? Does everything seem to happen all at once? Are you frustrated with the long lines at the stores, the holiday traffic, the rude people? Are you stressed about finances to pay for gifts? Do you find that you really don’t have time to enjoy the holidays? If you have answered “yes” to any of these questions, then read on. I have some tips on surviving the holidays and enjoying them more.

1. Make a list of everyone you want to have a gift for and check their names off as you get a gift for them. Don’t forget to include teachers, hair stylists, babysitters, postal workers, or anyone else you want to buy for.

2. Start early. Purchase gifts for people throughout the year. You can easily knock teachers, babysitters, newspaper carriers off the list early on by picking up something for them in the summer. Of course, there are going to be certain people you will not be able to shop for early, but by eliminating those that you can early on will greatly reduce your stress.

3. Don’t leave gift wrapping till the last minute. Go ahead and wrap presents that you have. Gift wrapping takes a lot longer than you think it will. Make sure you clearly label the gifts and keep a record of what the gift is so you don’t have to forget.

4. Shop clearance racks after Christmas for next Christmas. One year, I picked up pairs of beautiful sleep socks for next to nothing. These made great gifts for babysitters the next year! This saved me both time and money at the Christmas season.

5. Shop online. These days, you can almost always search the internet and get a free shipping code. Why drive all the way to Target if they will deliver what I want to my door for free? You avoid traffic, crowds and stress.

6. Christmas cards—I know many people are guilty of mailing these the last minute. Make it your goal to update your mailing list at the beginning of November. Keep your list in a data base and print off labels. Purchase your cards that the end of the holiday season for the next season or order your cards early. Once you have them, go ahead and sign, seal, and stamp them. Then, when December rolls around and life is chaotic, all you will have to do is drop them in the mailbox.  Be sure to check out Tiny Prints Christmas Cards to help make sending holiday cards easier!

7. Some people feel bad if they receive an unexpected gift and feel like they must reciprocate. If you are like that, keep a few gifts on hand so you don’t have to run out and buy something. Candles, hand lotions, seasonal hand towels, a basket for fruit, a Christmas music CD, and so forth are all great gifts to have on hand.

8. Shop early, avoid lines. Shop weekday mornings when crowds aren’t bad. Some stores say open later at night. This is usually a good time to shop when the crowds are at a minimum.

9. Have a special organizer just for Christmas. Keep all your lists, store coupons and calendar in it. Use it frequently.

10. Make assignments. You do not have to do it all. Have your husband pick up something you need on his lunch hour. Have the kids pitch in and keep the house work up. Get with friends and find out where everyone is going shopping. Ask them to pick up what you need at a store they are going to and you pick up what they need where you are shopping.

11. Make time for relaxation and fitness. Schedule 20 minutes a day for fitness and spend a few minutes every day for relaxation. There are DVDs out there that have 15 minute yoga workouts that can ground you.

12. Eat healthy!! Foods full of empty calories will just make you feel tired and more stressed.

Keeping your stress down helps you to deal with the crowds and rude people and any other little thing that may come up. Remember, you do not have to be everything to everyone. Keep the focus of the holidays and remind others around you what Christmas is all about. Don’t feel bad if you are not able to accomplish everything you want. It is more important to be in the moment and remember the true meaning of the season.

Thanks to Twittermoms and Tiny Prints for offering this fun blogging contest. If you haven’t checked out Tiny Prints, you may want to visit them. They offer great cards, including beautiful Christmas cards

About Tiny Prints:
"Tiny Prints provides stylish, modern and unique stationery from photo cards to personalized greeting cards to thank you cards and business cards. Offering exclusive designs from the nation’s top designers, easy card personalization, a powerful preview engine and top-notch customer service and paper quality, their designs have been lauded by numerous television networks, publications and celebrities. With Tiny Prints by your side the Holidays will be a cinch! They offer adorable Thanksgiving Cards, Christmas Cards, Hanukkah Cards, and even New Years Cards. All fully customizable and personalizable."

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Disclosure:  I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Tiny Prints blogging program, making me eligible to get a $75 Tiny Prints gift certificate! For more information on how you can participate, click here.

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