Hello and welcome back! I hope everyone is having a great week. I have not been able to get much done because Emily had a bad stomach virus. We have been battling it for week now! She gets better, goes back to school, and then gets it again. I am starting to feel a bit crummy, and am bracing to get it next.

Today we are continuing with our “Take The Stress Out Of The Holiday Season” series. In part one of the series, I gave you a little check list to complete by the end of the week. Has anyone had a chance to get started, or finished it yet? How did it work out for you?

 

Gifts

 We all want to make the holidays wonderful! I mean, after all it is suppose to be the most “Wonderful Time Of The Year” right? Within all that wonderfulness comes gift giving, and the excitement that comes with it. I love buying gifts for my family and friends. I get so excited searching for the perfect gifts, and imagining how their eyes will light up when they open them, like Ralphie’s teacher’s when she read his essay about wanting a Red Ryder BB gun! It sure is easy to get caught up in it all. Before you do, and wind up breaking your bank…..

1. Set a budget and make a list– Deciding in advance how much money you will spend on gifts will prevent you from making impulsive purchases. Compile a list of all the people you need to buy gifts for, and break down your total gift budget into what you will spend on each individual.

2. Decide before you head out the door or start browsing– Before you head out the door, or start browsing, have a good idea as to what you are going to get each person on your list. If you have friends and family that are difficult to buy for, start stalking their social media sites. Now a  days we are pinning, tweeting, instagraming, and facbooking all the things we love, and you are sure to get some ideas from their sites. Again, we are trying to avoid those impulsive purchases that will make you go over your budget.

3. Check for coupons- Google search the stores you plan to hopping in for coupons. and promotional codes. They can be found in an abundance this time of year, and will save you a boatload of money too!

4. Avoid the crowds: If you have not planned your budget, and started shopping yet, now is the time. We all know the closer the holidays get the bigger the crowds get. The earlier you start, the less likely hard to find items will be sold out, and you will be less likely to overspend or just grab something generic for the sake of getting a gift. If you are able to do your shopping during the week, shop early morning, or mid afternoon, when the stores are less crowded. Shop online.

Keep in mind that gift giving is a loving gesture. Your friends and family will be happy with whatever gift they receive from you.

Traditions

While traditions are a big part of adding all that wonderfulness to the season, and make for some great memories, they can start to feel like an obligation. In Monday’s post, I talked about feeling obligated to decorate the entire house with all the sentimental ornaments and decorations I had accumulated over the years. I will say the same thing about traditions as I did about the decorations, don’t feel obligated! If you feel obligated to do something it does not make for much fun. If a tradition no longer fits into your lifestyle, or you don’t have time for it, simply drop it. You can always add it back in the next year. If you are considering adding new traditions to your holidays start slow and experiment to find what works for you and your family. You can find a list of simple Thanksgiving Traditions here .

That is a wrap for today. We will finish the series on Friday. I hope that you have found the tips helpful. I would love to hear what you think. Have a great day!

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