The holidays are a great time when all close and distant family members are together. They exchange gifts and tell stories and share happiness. Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year, so close together, give us a reason to meet up. But despite all the joy, this is the time when people are most stressed and they lose weight on their wallets, reach card limits and end up with huge expenses.
For the sake of the happiness of kids, cousins and family members it is hard to keep yourself from shopping and spending on preparing large dinner parties and home decorations. But with clever planning and by using some innovative ideas, you can keep your sanity.
Thanksgiving Planning made easy. Sides and Desserts, you cook the bird!
One of the worst mistakes you can make is committing or giving hope to someone for a gift that you later regret promising. Promising your kids something on the holidays which you regret later for not being able to buy because of the expense, or to do because of a lack of time, will make you feel really bad. It’s good to plan with your family or friends but over planning can actually ruin your holidays. Don’t commit to someone for a gift that is expensive or you think that you might not be able to provide.
If you feel that you will have very little time to prepare someone’s special dish, don’t promise. That way, you won’t have to stand in line or rush to stores or overspend on something, but instead you will be able to make the dishes you’re comfortable with making.
Make a Plan
You will not succeed until you plan, and you need to have a good plan in order to save time, money and energy. If you didn’t over commit, you can create a list of gifts that you wish to give. Holidays often disturb budget but if you set a maximum budget that you can afford, you will have a boundary which you must try to stay inside. Speak to other family members and friends, and share your thoughts on gift prices, so you won’t receive an expensive gift which you can’t reciprocate.
Make a list of all the expenses for dinner and meals, total spending on gifts and cost of home decoration items. Try to fit all the gifts that you want to buy within your set budget, and feel free to replace expensive gifts with cheaper ones – the goal is to reach the maximum set budget of gifts. Do the same for food and decoration. Ordering food online such as at http://www.magickitchen.com/menu/thanksgiving.html will save you some bucks on groceries and time of preparation.
You also don’t need to stress by doing all the cooking in one day or over a weekend, but it will be much better if you start the day before the weekend for the following holiday. It’s all about planning but don’t forget to note down everything.
Welcome All the Help You Have
Get all the help you can find. You can get your kids to decorate the room and even vacuum the carpet and dust furniture. Make lists as to who is doing what, shopping, cleaning and cooking. Weekends are a great time to shop but so busy. If you can shop in off hours, you’ll save time waiting in lines. Or if you can find an item online then there is no better way to save time because these days most online stores offer free shipping.
If your cousin or friend offer some help bring them on-board – you can offer your help in return. You can also save some time on cooking by ordering meals online.
Make Bright Ideas
Some really good bright ideas can do wonders. Instead of giving gifts to everyone, you can invite everyone over the dinner and agree to donate a certain amount to charity instead of spending money on gifts.
Buying a gift can be expensive but giving gift certificates might work for you. You can choose your amount and let the recipients choose gifts themselves. If you had been planning a world tour, you can visit your favorite place during holidays, away from all the stress and worries of shopping.
Holiday Smiles are the name of the game!
Learn to Forget and Say No
Holidays bring smiles and charms but it is really hard to remain sweet to everyone, because some people will be expecting so much from you while others might be taking more of your time than they should. For instance, if you have friends coming over or you have your own plans you should learn to say no to other invitations. You don’t need to go to every event. Be polite but firm when others want to exchange expensive gifts.
Try to enjoy the meals you prepare. You are already stressed and you worked all day to prepare your meal, but it is also a good idea to delay your party so that you can become a guest and just enjoy the dinner.
Holiday is a time for which people wait all year, and it should be a reason to enjoy, not stress out. The best way to enjoy it is to plan and think differently, and take advice from your family and friends.