12 steps to a simpler X-mas

Here are 12 ways to lower your stress level, spend less, and increase your enjoyment of the Christmas holidays through simplifying your approach.

Here are 12 ways to lower your stress level, spend less, and increase your enjoyment of the Christmas holidays through simplifying your approach.

Don’t spend what you don’t have

Use cash or a debit card to buy gifts so you don’t end up with a post Christmas financial hangover.

Slow down

It’s so easy to rush, rush, rush, during the holidays and forget to relax and enjoy. Take a chill pill and don’t feel like you have to please everyone.

Set expectations

Tell family and friends that you’re simplifying your holidays this year, and that you won’t make it to every party or give a gift to every person. This lets you off the hook and allows you to put less pressure on yourself. If your friends and family don’t like it, that’s their problem.

It’s Ok to say No

Once expectations are set, follow through by committing only to the parties and people that are most important to you and bring you the most joy.

Give less gifts

Don’t feel obligated to give a gift to everyone. Giving because you feel obligated is not a way to bring joy to your life. Focus on giving to those people that you love the most and make you the happiest.

Don’t go crazy with the Christmas decorations

Some people really love to decorate for holidays. But if trying to turn your house into a Christmas village causes you more stress than it should, then cut back, decorate simply, and eliminate the stress that comes from trying to make everything look “perfect”.

Don’t be a control freak

Feeling like everything has to be “just perfect” for the holidays is a recipe for disaster. You can have a nice Christmas season without stressing out over what people think about your party, your gift, or your décor. Keep it simple, relax, and have a good time.

Make a plan for next year

For many people, Christmastime is stressful because they run up huge credit card bills. Make a plan to start putting back money every month for Christmas spending. Start in January, and when Thanksgiving comes around you’ll be able to leave the credit cards in your wallet.

Skip Black Friday

Some people love the craziness that comes with Black Friday shopping. But if it causes you more stress than the deals are worth, shop online in your PJ’s and avoid the masses of Black Friday mayhem.

Don’t accept every invitation

For me and many others, going to too many holiday parties can be stressful because there’s just not enough time to enjoy them all. Accept only the invites that are the most important to you to minimize Christmas party fatigue.

Focus on faith and family

Remember that ultimately Christmas is about loving God and loving others. It’s not all about parties, gifts, large amounts of food, and sparkly decorations. It’s about loving people and spending time with them. It’s about worshipping the God that made us and is there for us always. It’s about recognising that He was born and died for us.That’s about as simple and stress free as it gets.

Enjoy your holidays!