Think it’s too early to start planning for the holidays? Think again. Before you know it, the mad dash is on: shopping, eating, RSVP’ing, decorating, traveling, hosting, cooking, and spending. For all of winter’s festivities, spring is a great time to decide how you want to soak it all in. Why wait? Ponder these five tips to swap stress for mindful moments:
- Visualize a peaceful season for all. Take the time to think about what you want out of the season and the memories you wish to create. There's no reason to concede to “the way it's always been.” As family members grow and evolve, reconsider how family traditions can change as well. By initiating conversations early, you're likely to come up with a refreshing new approach to how you want to spend the holidays.
- Decide what you want to spend now. Because monetary demands during November and December aren’t limited to presents, now’s the time to speak up about price and gift limits. Parties, attire, gift wrap supplies, baking ingredients, office donations, and extra groceries add up. By making a list of everything that typically costs you, you’re able to budget and save now, decide to eliminate certain November-December expenses, or shop early to spread your purchase power over months rather than weeks.
- Give with heart and meaning. Although giving gifts has a way of enriching lives, don’t forget to include to give presents a lot of thought and meaning: Over half (53%) of U.S. consumers receive unwanted gifts every year. And consumers who use credit cards over the holiday season rack up an average of $1,054 in new debt. If you spot the perfect gift for a loved one in June, get it and sneak it away until the holidays. Be creative and scrutinizing with your gift-giving this year. Tip: There’s nothing more heartfelt than a unique gift made by your own two hands.
- Practice saying “No, thank you.” When you’re truly honest with yourself, you’ll reduce the odds of committing to something you don’t have the time, enthusiasm, or money for. No one expects you to say “yes” to everything; the sooner you get used to being selective about accepting (or politely declining) invitations, gift exchanges, or other holiday-related activity, the more empowered and at peace you’ll be. Sharing your feelings with family and friends also helps them appreciate what’s really important to you. When people open up, great things happen: It brings people together.
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