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OMG, this year! Each and every one of us in this country, and most of the world too (we would guess) has endured some major hurdles.  It’s a pretty big boat.  So as we drag ourselves over the finish line, we want to offer some *advice* on how to get through this holiday season.

 

Lower. Your. Bar.

Many people love the holiday season for its festivities and lightheartedness…a happy way to end the year, however it may have transpired.  But since this past year seems to have been a WWF match for most everyone, there is no shame in being too tired. Scale it back!  Nobody would expect you to walk on a broken leg, so…do what you can.

  • Instead of decorating the whole house, pick one room or area and bring out only those things that are meaningful to you and your family. 
  • Utilize a “Secret Santa” theme to cut spending on gifts, whether it’s for extended family or  just your household, truly nobody will expect over-the-topness this year.
  • Explore repairing items that you would otherwise replace without batting an eye.  You may help keep a small business IN business.
  • Make the holiday dinner about family and cook a favorite instead of a traditional meal. 
  • While sobering, get a solid handle on what you can afford.  Being extra broke won’t help.

We are all going to be home with our families, so there is no competition with friends and neighbors since we can’t go into each other’s houses anyway. Be ok with it not being the usual marathon of shopping and cooking and decorating and parties.  Exhaustion doesn’t look good on anyone.

Get Perspective

Brain fried?  Can’t even think about any of it?  Again, many more in that boat with you.  For some, changing the “traditions” of the season is just not an option.  Why? If you do holiday things because they bring you joy and happy feelings, that’s great! But if it’s really (internally) a source of stress because you think it is expected of you, it’s time to get perspective. 

  • Ask your close friends how they plan to get through this holiday season.  You may get some great ideas.
  • Google it! We found this helpful!
  • Ask your family…the ones you live with, and extended family about what would be doable for them. 
  • Be honest with your people…is money super tight? Are you depressed? Do you need help with preparations? Do you REALLY not want to bake this year?  Let them know.
  • Kids can be a great source of no-cost ideas!  They live in a different head space that doesn’t revolve around money/work/stress and are super creative.  Allow their uncluttered minds to run the show this year!
  • There are many more in our country who are in dire straits right now. If you can, give. But it’s not just about money. Volunteering your time or skills can help someone else and remind you of your own blessings. 

Staying Home

Think outside the “smiley boxes” and skip the online shopping and buy local.  These are your friends and neighbors’ businesses that keeps money in your community and helps families with their holidays too.  Instead of more *things*, think about a service!  Wouldn’t we all like a good housecleaning after the holidays? Maybe a food delivery or grocery gift card…we all gotta eat, right? How about a pet store coupon? Our fur babies have had to scale back too.  Pet rescues need help year round. You could donate to a favorite charity in someone else’s name! 

Do what you can to get through this holiday season with (what’s left of) your sanity intact.

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