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Okay, hear me out. I am not the crazy Christmas lady I used to be. I promise. If you asked me a few years ago when I had my tree up….well….needless to say my husband at the time was never happy with my thoughts on decorating for Christmas…
But I digress.
My Christmas crazy side has calmed down and I no longer decorate for Christmas before the appropriate time. (Other than the Christmas lights hanging on my window…but those are year-round decorative, thank you very much.
While I won’t decorate for Christmas early, I will start saving and planning for Christmas early.
There is nothing wrong than to get your savings on girlfriend!
Because we all know that the Christmas frazzled woman that you become when it’s down to the wire and you have nothing ready. Trust me, I know. That was me last year, up at 3 a.m. to get a “Pinterest Perfect” Christmas ready for my adopted family. We all make mistakes.
Do you know what happened? Come Christmas day, not only was I miserable, but I had literally worked myself sick. So not only did I not enjoy the day, but neither did my family.
Last Christmas was my last straw. I knew I wanted to change how I did the holidays and I wanted to change fast. Because I could not keep up with my own expectations for me. My family didn’t need perfectly wrapped rustic presents with their own personalized ribbon. They did not need a six-course Christmas dinner. But I sure thought they did.
You know what they did need? Me. They needed me present, to spend time with them. My little brother wanted to build gingerbread houses. My older brother wanted to read the Bible together. And my sister just wanted to spend time with us all. That’s all they wanted.
So how can you prepare for a stress-free holiday now?
Keep It Simple
There is no reason that your family needs that many gifts. To be honest, I’m not sure where half the gifts I got for Christmas last year are. Some of those gifts were very meaningful and I keep them close. But most have disappeared or been thrown away (sorry bro, but bacon chocolate is not all it seems it would be.)
Get each person in your family 1-5 gifts that are meaningful to them. One good rule of thumb for gift-giving is:
- Something to wear
- Something to read
- Something to cuddle
- and something they need
I did adhere to this slightly last year as everyone got a book, and a hand made fleece blanket. But gift-giving doesn’t have to be hard or complex. Give simply and from the heart.
The most meaningful thing I got for Christmas was a card from my older brother where he just spent the entire page writing the things he loves about me and how he’s watched me grow so far. I have saved it ever since then and look at it often.
Instead of getting a bunch of cheap plastic gifts, take time to find a way to communicate your love to your family. Whether you make a video, a mix CD (those are still a thing, right?) or write them a card or letter. Let them know how much you love them, because someday they may not remember what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel. (Maya Angelou).
Make It From Scratch
There is nothing better than a good homemade gift. I made homemade fleece blankets for everyone last year and it was a hit! They all still use them and it was an easy gift with a personal touch.
Look around the house and see what you have to make some sweet gifts for those you love. Whether it’s mason jar mixes, blankets, or home decor. There’s always something you can make for a great gift!
I found a gift that I would really like to get for my mom this year (no, Mom I’m not giving hints!) So I started saving back in July to get it for her.
Just putting aside $25-$50 a month depending on what you want to do for the holidays makes such a difference. Just setting that aside alone can get you an extra $300-$600 a year!
And don’t think that all needs to go to presents! You can use that money to sponsor a family or a child. You can use it to donate to a local soup kitchen or to a foster child. Use the money to take your family to go ice skating, Christmas tree picking, and so much more.
What are some things that you have come up with to practically prepare for the Holiday season? Leave a comment below, or join the discussion on our Facebook page! Thank you for stopping by!