As we all know, the holidays can be a very stressful time. There are so many things to worry about! Can we afford to travel? Should we stay home? Should we have guests over? How are we going to feed all of these people? How can we afford gifts? Then of course there are the stresses of meeting people for the first time. You just started a relationship and are meeting your significant others’ family for the first time., whether you are going to their place or they are coming to yours. STOP!
I am going to be giving you some tips on how to survive this holiday. How to survive financially and mentally. Of course, I do wish Christmas wasn’t six days away, when I am writing this, since survival tips could help at the beginning of the month but unfortunately I just started my blog yesterday. I’m sorry guys. 😦 But still! Six days until Christmas and there are still some things you can do to help.
First, stop and look at this animation of a dancing reindeer.
You should be smiling now, unless you are a robot. This little animation always cracks me up and puts a smile on my face. If you, like me, are smiling then guess what? You are already winning the fight against stress.
- Did you know that smiling decreases stress and anxiety? 😀
- Smiling releases endorphins, which is a chemical your body makes, that makes you happy. 😀
- Smiling is contagious. Are you surrounded by Debbie Downers? Just smile. Watch, others will start too.
- Them: 😦 😦 😦 You: 😀 After They See You: 😀 😀 😀 That is one room of happy people.
So Tip #1: Smile! 😀 I know, it isn’t always easy but there are many reasons to.
Reasons To Smile
- You are with your friends, family, and loved ones. I know this may not sound ideal for some people but remember, holidays aren’t everyday. You only have to stick with it for a day or two (or a little longer if they or you visited from out of town). If you are thinking “But being with them isn’t a reason to smile.” I want you to think about those who wish they could be with their loved ones but can’t. No family is perfect and every family has their issues but remember, it’s called “Family” for a reason.
- For those who can’t be with their loved ones, I am truly sorry. Holidays can be really tough on you guys the most. One thing you can do is call your loved ones, Skype, or even volunteer. It may not sound like it but helping others is not only a good distraction but just think about how much you are affecting their lives. Both my family and Mark’s are on the east coast so we understand the desire to want to be with your loved ones when you can’t. *hugs* From me, to you. Hang in there.
- It’s the joyous time of the year! Ok, that sounded cheesy but it’s true. One thing I have noticed, ever since I was a child, is people tend to purposefully act better just for the holiday. They smile at their enemies , don’t start drama, etc. Because seriously, who wants to be known as the person who ruined Christmas? No one! Well, unless you are the Grinch. But since we all know “The Grinch” is a fictitious character, actually being him isn’t possible. But still, don’t take after his traits. Ever since I was a child, I remembered Christmas as a wonderful time. The snow (I was raised in MD), hot chocolate, family, and there was just something in the air. It was a peace that I can’t quite explain. But because people were trying their best to get along, it made that time of the year even more magical.
So remember, don’t be like the Grinch. Smile and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere while it is still around.
- Life is short so enjoy the time, with your loved ones, while you can. Even if you are upset with them, if you are blessed with the chance to be with them, treasure it! Yes, holidays are just like every other day but were given a special meaning by events and what not, some people take their holidays seriously. Personally, I see a holiday just like every other day just with special events that people celebrate. No one needs to buy me a present for Christmas, just seeing my loved ones is the best gift ever. As you grow up, you learn the holidays aren’t about who buys who what, it’s about cherishing the moments. As people come and go, the nice necklace they bought you will stay but if you didn’t spend time with them, there are no memories to cherish. I choose memories over material possessions any day. As much as my family drove my nuts, as a kid, now as an adult, I wish I could be on the east coast with them during this time. I know I am not alone in having this thought.
So instead of stressing about actually being with your family and loved ones during the holiday, smile and cherish the moments!
Tip #2: Make The Material Part of Christmas, Just For The Kids!
One of the biggest stresses, I have noticed, is people are always worrying that they can’t get gifts for everyone. If your family has children, young teens, etc. make the material gifts just for them. Most children don’t understand that material possessions aren’t always that important. They think of toys, games, etc. Adults should know the difference between a want and a need. The person may want a gift for Christmas, just because it is Christmas, but you don’t need it. People have put way too much of a material meaning on holidays. If you can’t afford to get something for everyone, you can make something, shop at the dollar store, do a secret santa (this allows gifts for everyone but each person only needs to buy one gift!) or some people can’t even afford to get a gift from the dollar store. Don’t laugh and say “Yeah right, it’s only $1. You have a dollar.” No, not everyone is blessed enough to have even that. Bills, traveling, etc. adds up. In a case like this, couponing truly comes in handy! If done right, you can get free things, cheap or free materials, etc. If you do want to get something for everyone, to save even more money, just make gifts. It shows you put more effort and thought into it. Sure anyone can go and buy something and put lots of thought into it but to make something from scratch, I personally feel makes a much better gift. I will include some awesome DIYs at the bottom of this blog.
Tip #3: DIY Everything!
Instead of spending hundreds of dollars this holiday, on gifts, decorations, etc. DIY it! I have always loved having something unique. Instead of something everyone else has, make something no one has and something different.
- If you can’t afford to buy a Christmas tree, or your place too small for one, get Christmas lights and put them on the wall in the shape of a tree. They save space, it’s cheap, and still absolutely beautiful! You can still hang decorations up too.
- Make your own decorations. The best thing is, you probably already have lots of materials at home! Bring out your crafty side. I am obsessed with penguins! I absolutely love these cute little penguins made from soda bottles.
- Make your own gifts. If you can sew, sew something. Even if you aren’t crafty, there are lots of tutorials online that show you step by step how to make things.
Tip #4: Save Money On Dinner; Have A Potluck!
If you are hosting dinner, that can get quite expensive and stressful. Having to cook for a lot of people can be a lot for someone to handle. One easy thing you can do is have a potluck. You can make the main course (turkey, ham, etc.) but ask your guests to bring something small with them. People can bring vegetables, side dishes (green bean casserole and yams with marshmallows being my personal favorites), desserts, etc. If everyone pitches in, you can have a feast! Hosting a dinner and having lots of people in your home is not easy. Feeding everyone, on your own, can be an even bigger nightmare. If someone can’t bring something, it’s no biggie. Don’t make them feel bad for it and if they feel bad, just let them know you are just happy they could make it. If all else fails, remember your coupons!
Tip #5: Stock Up Ahead Of Time!
One thing, you may not notice, is that after the holidays, everything is on sale! The day after Thanksgiving and Christmas, everything is on sale. Prices are ridiculous! This is the time to shop and stock up, if you can. Get your decorations, gifts, etc. early and just keep them in storage. Buying everything, while it is on sale, is always the smartest thing you can do especially when you combine coupons with them.
Tip #6: Coupons, Coupons, And Even More Coupons!
- The one thing you never want to forget is your coupons. You can save on your food, gifts, traveling, etc. So take the time to research to get the best possible deal. Think about it. Would you rather spend $20 on a turkey or spend some time looking for sales and coupons and end up spending $5 or nothing for the turkey? Saving money means less headaches. You don’t have to stress about whether or not the holiday will break the bank, whether or not you can travel to see your family, get gifts, etc. Saving money makes everyone happy and can make your life much easier.
- If traveling, airline prices are at the cheapest on Christmas day. Yeah, you probably don’t want to even think about traveling on Christmas Day, but if seeing your family just for dinner is what matters, catch an early flight. Dec. 25 is when the plane tickets are super cheap. Pay less for your ticket and still see your loved ones for dinner. It is a win win situation.
Tip #7: Pay For Everything With Cash! Keep Your Credit Cards At Home.
Admit it, when you are out shopping with your credit cards, most people don’t keep track of what they are spending. The cashier says “Your total is $95.77” and you hand them your credit card and say “Charge it!” But guess what, it adds up and it adds up fast! Then what happens, come January your bill comes in. You open it and your jaw hits the floor. You spent way too much. Add interest to that and you now have some lovely debt (yay! Not >.<) It can take months to pay that off! Prevent that from happening by just using cash. By using cash you can easily see how much you are spending and what you have left to work with. It will prevent over spending and keep you happy in the long run. If you insist on using a credit card, keep track of your spending. After every purchase, record it. Keep track of your spending and what you have left. A great alternative is a prepaid debit card. Not everyone likes to carry a lot of cash, I certainly don’t, so get a prepaid debit card. You can get them at your local store and you can load what you want to spend and it wont let you go over your limit.
With all of those tips, I hope they are able to help you survive the holiday a bit. Below will be links to some awesome DIYs.
I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday ❤
Thank you for reading. ❤
Holiday Crayons (Great for kids!)
If you follow me on Pinterest and Tumblr, I am always pinning and reblogging great DIYs I find. I love to craft and make things so I am always looking for new things to make and try. You can also find great things just by doing a simple Google search. So make a Pinterst and Tumblr, do a DIY search, and start following every DIY blog you can find. The things you will find will amaze you!