Today I thought it might be fun to share how I cut down on some holiday stress. I have three things that are really important when planning for Christmas and cutting down stress.
1.) Decide on a budget. Brandon and I talk about Christmas spending all year long. I am a year long shopper (and you will see another trick later in the post). It is really important to know how many people you are buying gifts for, how much you plan on spending on each person, and looking for deals and being a good listener all year long. Our fist couple of years of marriage, talking about money was hard for us (maybe because we didn’t have two dimes to rub together), but money talk gets easier and I think it helps to be up front and honest. This year is different for us, Brandon and I are not exchanging gifts but instead taking a trip in a few months as a gift to each other. This cut down on some costs up front this year. We still are exchanging one small gift and stuffing stockings. I think budgeting and communication about the budget is really important in cutting out stress.
2.) Wrapping bag. About four years ago one of my student’s mom sold 31 bags. I bought a bag for my mom as a Christmas present and received this bag at a large discount as part of that purchase.
This bag holds everything for wrapping. This bag is such a time saver for me. I pull it out of the closet and it includes everything I will need to wrap presents all in one simple location.
Wrapping paper. Costco always has a great value on LARGE rolls of wrapping paper.
Another thing I stock up on after Christmas is gift tags. You can usually find these packages for about $0.25 after Christmas so I stock up.
3.) Make a list. After Christmas I make a list of everyone I am buying gifts for. I fold this up and keep it in my wallet so as I am out shopping throughout the year I can just write it down on the list. I also include hiding spots and prices in the margins of the paper. As you can see I include stocking stuffers as well and little notes about the products. This list is gold. I hide things all over my house and have misplaced gifts in the past so this helps me stay organized. It also makes it easy to keep track of keeping kids gifts organized. Another tip, I save the lists so I know what I have bought people in the years past. This was last years gifts so if you are my Mom or sister reading, you are not getting these gifts this year 🙂 Nothing feels better in May than writing an item on this list. Also, if someone says “Boy, I would sure like a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses” (Brandon) you can just whip the list out and write down the idea and put a box next to it. Once you buy the gift you can cross it off.
What are some easy things you do to help relieve stress around the holidays? How do you keep it simple? I am always interested in tips to make my life easier, especially if allows me to spend more time celebrating and making memories with my family this time of year. Thank you so much for reading here today, I would love to hear your tips and tricks for organizing this time of year.
Linking with Home of Malones for Thursday Thoughts