Holidays Simplified

With Christmas just around the corner, it’s easy to get caught up in the busyness.

Here are a few tips for a wonderful – yet, simpler, less expensive, more from-the-heart – holiday season…

1. Agree not to buy anything for your family members that they don’t really need, and ask them to do the same for you.

2. Instead of exchanging expensive, unneeded gifts, look through a catalog from a reputable organization like International Needs or Power to Change, pool your resources, and donate toward something life-changing for someone who has very little.

3. Create service coupons, if appropriate (for example, babysitting coupons for a young family; snow removal coupons for an elderly couple; free ride coupons for a friend without access to transportation…). Think of what service you can provide and what your family and friends really need, and go from there.

4. Reach out as a family – or as an individual – to those who are struggling this year. Volunteer at your local shelter. Donate to your local food bank or toy drive. Brainstorm with family or friends for more ideas.

5. Give away at least as many things as you receive this year.

6. Simplify the menu. Most of us overindulge at this time of year. Simplifying will save money, time, and peace of mind…not to mention the extra calories…or do what one of my Facebook friends did today for the American Thanksgiving: Invite those without a place to go to join you. Kudos to you, Julie.

7. Before putting up your decorations, tuck away any clutter. This is a biggie for me. I enjoy the decorations, but I don’t want them to make the house look more untidy.

8. Take Christmas to a shut-in. Share a meal. Give a small gift. Offer to put up a few decorations to brighten their space.

9. Offer to pick up a carload of people to take them to Christmas Eve or Christmas Day service at your church. Many people who don’t normally attend, often like to join the celebration at Christmas, and it’s nicer to go with someone than to go alone.

10. Make a list of what’s truly important to you and keep that list before you as you plan for the holidays.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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