Simple Suggestions for a Joyous Season!

I love everything about Christmas.  In fact, my family is probably one of those that most people hate since we start decorating the day after Halloween.  Christmas makes us happy so why not prolong that?!?! But the more people I talk to, the more stress and misery that I hear about. Christmas doesn’t have to mean over-packed schedules and empty bank accounts.  Here are some simple tips that my family does in order to keep the ‘Merry’ in Merry Christmas:

~Start new low-cost traditions.  For example, we watch Christmas movies at night with homemade popcorn.  We even created a checklist for our favorites.  Also, there are tons of low cost or free holiday events. Check Facebook and the local library for some great ideas, like carol sings, parades, live nativities and more!

~Try to find an advent calendar that gives back.  We have one that has an easy random act of kindness to perform each day.  It helps to put things into perspective and to brighten someone else’s day.

~Don’t try to be everything to everybody.  This one is hard but extremely necessary. You can’t run the school musical?  Don’t have time to volunteer for every event at church?  Just do what you can!  Over-scheduling is the best way to turn anyone into a Grinch!  It’s OK to say no! PS: our Elf on the Shelf isn’t the most ambitious little guy.  He just changes positions and he isn’t very creative at all.  Guess what? No one suffers! We still enjoy him.  😉

~Make a winter bucket list. One evening, each family member makes a list of a few fun things that they would like to do each season. We hang them up in a conspicuous place and then we take turns doing things on each list.  It’s a lot of fun and not a ton of pressure.  Just search for ‘winter bucket list’ on pinterest or create your own blank checklist.

~This tip is too late for this year but consider creating a separate savings account for Christmas next year.  Get $25 from each check direct deposited into that account and then use it for gifts.  If you get paid every two weeks, that’s $650 by next year!

~Another tip is to cut down on the amount of gifts that you give.  I’m not talking about charity gifts.  I’m just saying that you don’t need to get a gift for everyone in your extended family and friends list.  Just kindly bring up the suggestion that you enjoy each other’s company instead of buying a ton of stuff that no one really needs anyway.  Suggest having dinner at a restaurant or going bowling together.

Do you have any fun traditions?  What is your favorite part of the holiday season?  I would love to hear about it in the comments!

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