Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Making the "Happy Holidays" More Happy

Ok, so it's not even Halloween yet and it seems like slowly everyone is starting to talk about or at least think about the Holiday Season.  Some people are excited and can't wait for the holidays to get here, others are completely stressed over the thought, and most are a combination of the two.

When you're a child, there is nothing bad about the holiday season.  You get off of school, you spend time with your family, you get presents and special food.  Even when you are in school before break, there is normally some kind of celebration going on in class.

But, as you start to become an adult, the holidays become more and more stressful.  Being able to afford gifts, cooking big dinners, baking holiday treats, going to packed stores, traveling.  The holidays can become a burden if you let them.

Here are some ways to make the Holiday Season and little less stressful and a little more happy... so you can actually ENJOY.

1.  Buy gifts throughout the year when they're on sale

This is an ideal solution if you hate shopping or are on a budget.  See something nice on mega sale that your mom would love? Buy it now and stash it away.  I've been buying toys for my son as they go on sale for the past several months.  This helps spread out the spending, keeps you from having to pay more out of desperation, and makes your holiday shopping load lighter.

2. Look for decorations that can be used for multiple holidays

The biggest example - Don't buy "Halloween" decorations and then "Thanksgiving" decorations.  Instead, buy "fall" decor.  This way, you won't spend money on decorations that will only be enjoyed for a month each year.  You also won't have to pull out and put away decor as often.

3. Try to find simple recipes
Of course, everyone loves the pies, cakes and goodies made from scratch -the way great-grandma used to make them.  But if you're working your butt off making them and dreading that day (or those days) in the kitchen, you may want to cut back on those back breaking dishes and introduce some new easy to make substitutions.  I'm not saying completely eliminate the old recipes... just cut back to those you really feel make the holiday.

4.  Holiday time is for family/friends/fun
I know some are not always off of work on holidays.  It can make you blue when you have to get up early and go into work while everyone else gets to enjoy the day off.   You may not be able to control your work schedule, but you can control your attitude.   First, when you do have a day off to enjoy, DO NOT sit and think about or talk about how you have to work on a holiday. Just enjoy your day off. Try not to think of work or do work. Its YOUR DAY.  Treat it as your holiday. Second, when you do wake up to go to work on a holiday, don't wallow in self pity.  Don't be the grumpy guy/gal that walks in and brings everyone down.  Be determined to make the best of it and make it a good day.  Bring in treats for coworkers, have a smile on your face and a light, happy mood to share with all.  You may not get to do exactly what you would prefer on that day, but that doesn't mean it can't still be a good day at work.

5.  Appreciate what you DO have

So often during this time of year we tend to think about what we want, what we wish we could do, what we could buy to make the holidays better.  We lose sight of our blessings when we should be sitting back and appreciating what we do have and enjoying the simple things with those in our lives.  Now is not the time to keep up with the Jones or give everyone something to talk about.  Now is the time to look at the good you have and the good you can do for others. 

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