Holiday Survival Tips

Holiday Survival Tips

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Or, at least it’s supposed to be, right? For many, the holidays can be as stressful as they are fun. Parties. Shopping. Frenzied shoppers. Traveling. You can find yourself counting down to the end of the season as enthusiastically as you did the start of it. Enjoy the holidays from start to finish. Try these survival tips:

Be Realistic. Let’s face it, holidays in the movies are imaginary, rarely similar to real-life experience. You know your family, so why drive yourself crazy expecting them to be different for the holidays?  Embrace the uniqueness of your family and allow yourself laugh, not only at others, but at yourself too. (You know someone will bring up that one time you…)

Just Say No! Sure, it would be nice to accept every party invitation or volunteer opportunity, but how much fun will you have if you’re stressed out and exhausted.  You’ll enjoy parties and other events much more when you pick and choose instead of overextending yourself trying to do it all.

Think of others. Consider volunteering at a toy drive, local food pantry, or nursing home. Gifting your time can work wonders on your mental and physical health.

Stick to your budget. The excitement of Black Friday, party planning and gift exchanges can tempt you to overspend if you’re not careful. Give yourself a spending limit on gifts and events, and stick to it to avoid a financial hangover in the New Year.

Give gift cards. I love giving and receiving gift cards. It’s an easy gift for the friend or loved one who has everything or is difficult to shop for.

Pack light when traveling. If you can, avoid checking bags at the airport. You won’t have to wait for bags or risk losing presents on a plane headed to Orlando while you’re in Dallas. If you do check bags, make sure your medication, important documents and a change of clothes are in your carry-on.

Travel during off-peak times.  A good option is traveling the day of the holiday. You avoid the heavy traffic of the night before and if you’re flying, the long lines and higher rates. When driving for the holidays, we travel in the early morning or late night when everyone else is sleeping.

Take a break. Use a vacation day to do your holiday shopping mid-week and avoid the crowds. Or, use the day to recover from visiting with family or traveling.

What’s your guide to surviving the holiday season? Share with us in the comments.

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