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For A Less-Stress Christmas

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Step 1: Budget

I will be setting a limit for myself for spending. I will set a per person dollar limit to help me stick to a budget. I won’t go shopping without planning ahead. If I don’t have a clear list of people for whom to buy beforehand, I will want to buy something for everyone I know. I know that using credit to fund Christmas causes extra stress in later months so since I haven’t already planned for paying off credit bills later, I won’t spend money I don’t already have. No matter how much of a discount I am offered or how many establishments are willing to “instantly approve” me, no store credit is worth the long term cost and potential complications of having it.

Step 2: Give From The Heart

I often feel compelled to buy something for everyone. From now on I will not let guilt or fear of judgement guide my giving. I will give what is in my heart to give. I feel that a gift lacking love, might as well be an empty box. Some great heartfelt gifts that I can give are inexpensive and homemade. Since I’m on a tight budget, I will consider ways to use my talents to create gifts for friends and family. I can give personalized works of art or handmade jewelry and other crafted items. My girls and I really enjoy baking so we will create plates or baskets of baked goods for some people on our list.

Step 3: Keep My Family Involved

I’m going to let my children be a part of as much as I can. I’ll help to encourage my daughters’ positive attitudes towards the season by including them in the ” things to do”. Like most children (little ones anyway), my girls like to help with things. Some things that I will do to keep them involved include letting them be in charge of tape whilst I wrap and letting them wrap the gifts that they have made on their own, giving them the task of arranging the baked goods on the plates, asking them where to place certain decorations, or even giving them a duster with which to run around while I wash dishes. I’ll take extra care to not exclude my family as I strive to make the season merrier for others around me.

Step 4: Treat Myself Well

At the end of every day I will make sure to take time to just relax. Keeping myself in a good spirit will be essential in staying stress free. Getting plenty of rest (not usually something I do very well) will also be important. I’ll have to avoid planning for late nights. If a late night is necessary, then I will plan for extra down time the following day. Taking extra good care of myself this Christmas Season will help me to feel well enough to take extra good care of my family. I will go to bed every night pleased with what I have accomplished; not worrying about what is yet to be done.

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