LIFESTYLES: Four Ways to Begin Christmas Preparations Now

By D. Lanier Shook                                                                      October 7, 2013

Christmas is coming, but you already knew that. You also know you need to start getting ready now. Here are four ways to make yours easier.

1. Limit Yourself

Christmas is a time of year when we tend to go all out, especially if we have children. Kids love to compare their Christmas experience and parents love to make it as lavish as possible. (Remember the live reindeer from Jingle All the Way?) But if you give them too much right now you could be setting them up for disappointment later. Remember, life isn’t Christmas and you need to prepare them for life. By limiting you and yours this holiday season you could save them trouble later down the road and you trouble right now.

2. Prioritize Yourself

Since you probably won’t be able to do everything you want to, you’ll have to decide what you want to do. Sit down right now — before everything gets hectic — and ask yourself what matters the most. We’re all limited by time and money, so figure out where you want to spend them. By putting this down on paper you can save money and stress next month.

3. Remember What Gifts Really Are

Christmas is sadly synonymous with presents, toys, the latest gadgets, and other things. But things don’t bring happiness. Things break, get sold out, need batteries, and be under-appreciated. So why not skip all the trouble and remember what gifts really are.

See, what you really give someone else isn’t an object or even a purchase. When you give a present it tells the other person that you know who they are. That doesn’t require a huge amount of cash, just thought and planning.

4. Make the Experience the Gift

Christmas isn’t about money. It isn’t about things. Its about the people we spend time with and care about. Presents are okay, but this year take the time to make the season special by spending time together. Instead of spending your time shopping go to see Christmas lights. Attend a musical production. Or even volunteer to help those less fortunate. The season doesn’t have to be about rampant consumerism, stress, and agony.

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