Top Ten Ways to Make the Holiday Season more Enjoyable

 

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The holiday season is supposed to be the happiest time of the year but for most it’s actually the most stressful time of year. The following should take some of the pressure off of your shoulders for the perfect holiday and make it easier to feel some joy this season.

  1. Don’t try to recreate happy past events- There are so, so many factors going against you if you try to recreate a happy moment from your childhood or a previous holiday. It’s ok to try and do the same traditions but if they don’t turn out exactly as you were expecting or are a complete disaster, don’t take it personally. You can only do so many things to prevent problems but a lot of problems pop up out of the blue.  If it goes wrong then see if/how you can fix it next year and if it can’t be fixed then skip it.

  2. You can’t do everything and you most certainly can’t do it alone- Just because it’s the holiday season doesn’t mean your days suddenly have more hours to accomplish every single thing on your to-do list. Your to-do list has the benefit of being made by you so you have the power to cut things off of it as well. If you can’t do a job by yourself or you run out of time, don’t let your pride keep you from asking for help. People are already in a giving mood at this time of the year so take advantage of their offering to help.

  3. The justification of “it’s a holiday food” isn’t good enough- Eat only the holiday foods you actually like. I’m looking at you fruit cake. That’s seasonal as well but it also has a ton of calories and who really has a craving for fruit cake? By not gorging on all things sugar/fried you’ll be better able to do everything you need to get done and you won’t feel like crap in the process. Once it’s January and the holiday foods you love are no longer easily accessible in the stores then you know you need to stop eating them.

  4. Don’t worry about giving the perfect gift- This seems to put a lot of limits on people’s creativity when they are gift buying. Try and go with what the person already likes but put some effort in it.  Don’t let the fear of the person hating the gift keep you from buying something you truly think they’ll end up liking. Go with your gut and move on. If you mess up this year then ask them next year for gift guidance. Most people are more than ok with telling you what exactly they want or at least allude to a general area to focus gift buying on.

  5. Spending more money will not make someone love you more- You will save yourself from an overwhelming feeling of disappointment if you realize that money really can’t buy anything other than material goods. If they didn’t love you before you spend your entire rent payment on their gift then they certainly won’t love you more afterwards. Spend what you can afford and make it personal but remember that a gift cannot make a bad relationship a good one no matter how expensive that gift was.

  6. Be upfront if you have to give a cheaper gift this year- If you have financial or personal reasons forcing you to spend less or nothing at all on gifts this year, tell everyone immediately. This may take some of the surprise or fun out of the gift exchanging but it’s going to prevent hurt feelings and resentment especially if the other people were planning on spending a great deal more than you can afford/want to spend.  The holidays shouldn’t be solely focused on presents but if your loved ones spent a lot of time and money on your present and you give them nothing in return they’re going to be hurt by what appears to be a lack of effort or caring on your end especially if you failed to tell them beforehand the reason for your doing this. Telling them before the holiday will give them the option of spending what they feel is appropriate. If they spend more then great but they’ll know what to expect as their gift, if they get one, from you as well.

  7. Shop for gifts during the entire year- This will enable you to find more personalized gifts for people and you won’t be forced to have to give a generic gift since you couldn’t find anything special when you went shopping on December 22nd.  If you see something that you think someone else would love, buy it even if it’s July and set it aside for a holiday gift. Even wrap it in holiday paper to further be ready for the holiday season. Thinking ahead will open up a lot more gift options during the year than the few weeks of December ever will.

  8. You don’t have to buy a gift for everyone- Plenty of articles will say you should give gifts to pretty much everyone you ever have contact with during the year but this isn’t realistic or necessary. A $5 gift card to a coffee shop will be appreciated by most people and are appropriate for the people in your life that you want to give a token of thanks to like your hairdresser or your mail delivery person. Giving a thank you note at the end of the year thanking the person for their service to you during the year would be just as appreciated as a small gift. The point of the advice comes down to acknowledging everyone in your life but give based on your relationship not out of guilt.

  9. Take time out of each day to appreciate how this is a special time of year- Set aside time each day to do something that will put you in the holiday mood. Watch your favorite holiday show from your childhood one night. Spend a night making holiday cookies. If you do one thing each night for a few weeks you’re guaranteed to get everything on your to-do list completed and you’ll be in the holiday spirit as you do it rather than seeing everything as items to be checked off.

  10. Buy yourself the gift you want most- Relying on others to pick up your subtle hints is pretty much asking to not get whatever it is you’re hinting about. Buy the gift yourself as a reward for all of the hard work you’ve done this holiday season and to show yourself some self love. You’ll have the motivation to be more giving to others if you give to yourself first.  Remember you deserve a treat just as much as your loved ones and who knows you better than well you?

 

For the best inexpensive Christmas gifts to give this year, click here.  For the safest conversation starters for your next holiday event, click here.

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