Here we go...
- Get the members of your household to make a list of holiday expectations (i.e., what they want to see, do, feel, experience). Share your lists and discuss.
- Less is more. Get everyone to cut their seeing and doing lists in half. This in itself will help guarantee a “relaxing, old fashioned holiday.”
- Make ‘things to do’ lists to keep you organized.
- Get enough sleep. Fatigue can lead to stress, overeating, alcohol abuse, and numerous family problems.
- Let go of family traditions that are too much work or simplify them (e.g., after tree decorating, spread a checkered cloth on the floor and have a picnic instead of the traditional 5 course meal).
- Avoid family tug of wars. Ideas: 1) spend one holiday with one set of relatives, and the other holiday with another set, then alternate years. 2) choose a day before each holiday to spend with relatives and spend the actual holiday at your own home enjoying your own traditions.
- Consider extending holiday get-togethers through the first 2 weeks of January instead of cramming it all into November and December.
- Do something special for people you don’t know. Call a local shelter or nursing home to see how you can help. (Helping the less fortunate can help you put your own problems into perspective.)
- If you live alone or are recently divorced or widowed, make special plans like a holiday vacation so you won’t feel lonely or isolated.
- Plan a post holiday activity that everyone can look forward to.
- Make a budget and stick to it. (Don’t forget hidden expenses like travel, postage, carpet cleaning, etc.)
- Leave charge cards at home or clip and index card to the back of each card so you can keep a running total of charges. Don’t charge more than you can pay at the end of one month.
- Shop alone so you won’t be distracted from your list and your budget. To avoid crowds, show in the morning or near dinner time.
- Before buying big gifts like computers or appliances, check the product rating in Consumer Reports magazine.
- Tuck a paperback in your pocket in case you have to wait in long lines.
- Shop when you’re well rested and well fed. You can make very expensive shopping mistakes when you’re tired.
- Draw names and put a dollar limit on gifts if you have a large family.
- Decline department store’s ‘generous’ offers to delay payments until February or March, its easy to get in way over your head.
- Consider giving homemade gifts.
- Get at least 30 minutes of brisk exercise every day to reduce stress, take the edge off your appetite and help prevent winter blues.
- If wheels (bikes, skates, etc.) are on your gift list, include the necessary safety equipment (helmets, knee pads) too.
- If you’re a winter holiday skier, warm up, and keep the first runs light and easy. Quit before you get tired. Most ski injuries happen at the beginning and end of the day.
- Never drive after drinking. If a friend has too much to drink, call a taxi or extend an invitation to spend the night.
- Make sure your home smoke detectors are working.
- Keep both fresh and artificial trees far away from fireplaces, radiators, candles, tvs, and heaters.
- If you didn’t get a flu shot in October or November, consider getting one in December.
Got some holiday tips of your own to share? Please do! Any of the ones above resonate with you? Tell us! Remember one of today's commenters will be selected to win a book of their choice from my stash. By the time this month is over, I'm only going to own 5 or 6 books. :)
Yesterday's winner was Beth! Congrats! Email Instigator to claim your prize.
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