Christmas can be one of the most joyful and exciting times of year. Holiday parties, Santa Claus, Christmas movies, gingerbread men, FOOD. I mean, what's better?
Unfortunately, Christmas can also be stressful and exhausting.
If you want to avoid the some of the negative aspects that come from the holidays, keep reading.
Here are our 10 best tips to surviving the hustle and to help you enjoy season, stress-free.
1. Make a Christmas budget
Overspending can be one of the worst things about Christmas and ruin the entire experience. Sure, your mom will love the Vitamix you're getting her, but is it really worth maxing out your credit card?
Take 30 minutes to make a quick budget of how much you can spend this holiday season to avoid a visit from the repo man.
2. Don't go holiday shopping during busy hours
Or better yet, order online. If busy stores stress you out, DO NOT go to the mall on weekends, or after 5 p.m.
People can get crazy during the holidays, and a stressful environment might freak you out even more, and prolong your gift-shopping.
3. Go to a dollar store for all your wrapping accessories
You've finished shopping for mom, dad, your sisters, your brother, your best friends, your grand parents, your nephews, OH and your cat. But don't forget that you actually have to wrap them all, too.
Wrapping paper and accessories can be EXPENSIVE, and if you get them last minute, it can put a real dent in your pocket. For all of your wrapping needs, go to a dollar store. It's your cheapest option and most of the time, they have the exact same (and in some cases, way nicer) wrapping paper than the big box or specialty stores.
4. Stock up on eggnog and holiday treats
Planning a Christmas dinner? Or maybe you're going to a potluck and you've decided to make your famous sugar cookies.
Don't wait until the last minute to get your ingredients or traditional Christmas goodies. Grab them early. Stores typically start to sell out of things the week before Christmas, and you don't want to show up empty handed because you were too late.
5. Make an agenda for the month
With all of the parties, dinners and events in December, writings things down or making an agenda will seriously save your life. Take the stress of forgetting and forgiving people (from forgetting) by putting them in a calendar. Pick one up at the dollar store, or use your phone!
6. Make a personal Christmas list on Giftster and give it to your friends and family
Giftster is gift-registry website that allows you to make a Christmas list and share it with anyone you want. It allows you to insert links too, so if the product is online, they can buy it right away. This will save YOU and whoever's shopping for you tons of time.
7. Homemade coupons will save the day
Your shopping is done, and now you're wrapping gifts. Then it hits you. Cousin Jim has way more gifts then grandma Sue. If this happens, and you have no more money to spend, throw in a homemade coupon.
People LOVE homemade coupons, and they're great because you get to make up the rules.
For example, you could make a coupon for "dinner for two at your favourite restaurant", or "movie for two, includes popcorn and a drink!"
Then you can add rules and restrictions like "valid from January 2018-December 2018" or "coupon must be present for use."
Family members usually get a kick out of it, and sometimes appreciate it way more then the gift itself.
8. Eat bad, but drinks lots of water
In December, we often forget about our health and go nuts. We stop going to the gym, eating healthy, and breakfast can often consist of leftover Christmas cookies and advent calendar chocolates. If this is happening to you, IT'S OKAY. Don't stress.
To feel better about your bad eating habits, make it a point to drink tons of water throughout the day. It will help to flush you and and keep you hydrated.
9. Wrap your gifts as you go
A lot of people leave gift wrapping until Christmas eve. This is the worst idea ever because then you either miss out on all of the Christmas Eve festivities, or you're up until 4 a.m. wrapping EVERYTHING.
If you wrap as you go, you'll avoid having to do it last minute and you'll get to enjoy Christmas Eve with the people who matter most.
Even if you wrap one gift a day, you'll be making progress.
10. Wine and bulk Christmas cards are your new best friends
Going to a Christmas party and not sure what to bring? Wine.
Have to send out Christmas cards but can't afford to spend $5.00 per card? Buy them in bulk.
Wine is one of the best gifts you can bring or give to any Christmas party because almost everyone likes it, and it's relatively cheap.
Even if someone doesn't drink wine, they can use it for cooking, or save it and serve it to other guests.
Bulk Christmas cards great too because it takes the stress away of finding the perfect card for friends and family, it saves you tons of time, and they are much cheaper than buying individual cards.
Now that you know how to survive Christmas, get our there and have a ball! Oh, and don't forget to leave some almond milk and gluten-free cookies for Santa.