Is it already time to think about Christmas? It feels like we just had Halloween...
Oh wait, we DID just have Halloween.
Every year it seems that Christmas comes sooner and sooner. Once fall hits, we are all in a whirlwind that we call the holiday season. Figuring out who's going to have what holiday where, who can eat what, how to survive Grandpa telling the same story over and over and over, what presents to get everyone, how to afford presents for everyone, and how to get it all done before the day of just adds to the stress.
Personally, I am already in the holiday spirit. How could I not be? Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years add up to my favorite time of year. I love the decorating, the food, and the energy. Do I feel stress? Heck yes I do... but I don't let it ruin my fun. This year I have made a pledge to myself that I will set a budget and stick with it. I will stay ahead of the game and not leave things until the last moment. For example:
-I have already started shopping for Thanksgiving dinner. This allows me to spread out the cost but also helps since I am not waiting until the last minute (nothing worse then realizing you forgot something last minute!)
-I will have my shopping done by Dec 1st. Everything will be wrapped by the following week. This gives me more then enough time to mail boxes to out of town relatives and not worry if it will make it before the holiday.
-My Christmas decorations will be up by 2 days after Thanksgiving. I have 2 trees, a mantle, the dining room table, outdoor, and other random things to do.
-I will have my Christmas dinner menu chosen by Dec 1st and will start shopping for it.
-I will not over spend on presents! Instead of more material things, I will bake cookies and some sort of snack mix to supplement what I can afford. Not only will this save ME money... but the extra cookies I get to enjoy!
This is just a sample of the pledges I have made myself this year. However, the most important ones are there: I WILL have fun this holiday and spend it with my family and friends. I will NOT allow last minute problems and changes to schedule take the spirit away from me!
The holidays are not about the material things. It's about celebrating the spirit of the season. Keep that in your hearts and your minds this year and hopefully it will help you get through the stresses that come along with it.
Whatever you celebrate... happy holidays!