Stress at Christmas
If we were living in a remote island, stress at Christmas would be something we’d be unfamiliar with. Alas, we live in the midst of thi timberland shoes s thing called civilization. Christmas, therefore, has turned into that dreaded once a year exercise. Yes, folks, stress at Christmas is a real 21st century disorder.
Look at Christmas from different angles. These angles are the stress generators for many. First, there’s spending the money, second, spending the money and third, spending the money.
Seriously, even if we create a gift giving budget, how many of us stick to it? We walk into a store and we see merchandise that is visually appealing and then we think, maybe I could buy that one instead of the sweater on my list. It’s $10.00 more, but what the heck.
Gift shopping, of course, is not just about spending money. It’s about spending time as well: time sitting in traffic on the way to the stores, time looking for an empty parking slot, time sifting through items to find the right size and color, time lining up at the checkout counter and time standing at the gift wrapping service desk. By the time you put all your gifts in the trunk, you need more time to get out of the parking maze and make your way home factor in two or more traffic jams.
Helpful Tips for Gift Shopping
July August: get as many feelers as you can from people you give gifts to. Pay attention to their comments. Create a li timberland shoes st of recipients. Beside their names, put two to four possible gifts with a dollar amount. You’re not buying them four gifts, you’re buying only one, but have some back up plans in case they end up buying the item themselves or someone else will.
September October: Spread out your gift buying spree timberland shoes s. Spend four weekends in September to buy 25% of the gifts in your list, the next four weekends in October for the other 25% and so on. This way, you don’t blow all your money in one shopping spree. Leave room in your budget for other expenses.
November: Spend the next 25% on your list. When December comes, you’ll only have 25% to buy more.
If it isn’t considered tacky, and it’s obvious that your recipients prefer cash, buy them gift certificates instead (physical gift certificates or digital gift certificates will be appreciated).
By December 15th: all your gifts shall have been bought and gift wrapped.
To decorate or not to decorate. If there are kids in your family, you can’t get away with NOT decorating. So it’s either using last year’s decorations or buying new ones. To tree or not to tree is another decision, to go plastic or fresh is yet another.
Helpful tips for
By November 15, decide what your decorating plans are. Start with the exterior. Do you want lights, reindeers, icicles? Set a budget.
For the inside of the house: where will you put the Christmas tree, what kind of tree do you want (Balsam, Douglas, Noble, Fraser or Scotch Pine) and how tall should it be?
Decide on a theme for the Christmas tree: mix match (most people just put a combination while others choose a specific theme: flowers, ribbons, animals, native art, angels, music, etc)
Go over last year’s decorations and see what can be discarded (get rid of frayed cords and wires, broken glass and sharp objects) and which can be recycled. Even self declared cooking aficionados will be stressed, especially when they’re cooking from sunset to sundown during the few weeks preceding Christmas. A menu is indispensable; without it, you waste time and money making last minute meal decisions. If you can’t bear the thought of doing all the cooking, you may (a) ask family members to pitch timberland shoes in, (b) plan pot luck dinners and lunches, (c) cater, or (d) buy frozen and prepared dishes.
Helpful Tips for
Like we said, a menu is indispensable. Make a list of the meals you have to prepare. Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas Day breakfast, Christmas day lunch or Christmas day dinner.
Make a separate list of “just in case” meals. We’re talking about people who will be dropping by without notice, or you’re asked to contribute a dish during any of the 113 office lunches and tea times at work. If you work in a large company with several departments, make that 150 office lunches, snacks and coffee breaks.