As you’ve probably already noticed, the shopping malls are well into the holiday season with Christmas decorations, hampers & gift ideas out on the shelves and ready to deck your halls with boughs of holly. In fact, Christmas trees have been out in stores for about a month already! Seeing Christmas trees during this time each year makes you realise how fast the year flies by (I remember putting the Christmas tree away like it was yesterday…). It’s also a good indication that, if you haven’t started planning for it, it might be a good idea to start.
Here’s some top tips that I think might help you get through the holiday craziness and enjoy it:
1) If you’re thinking about going away/travelling and haven’t already booked in your trip, do it ASAP! We all know that travelling during the holiday season is the most hectic and expensive time of the year to travel. Not to mention, millions of other people are wanting to get away, visit family or experience Christmas where they never have before, so you’ll be competing with flight and/or accommodation availability. I wouldn’t recommend doing this last minute as you’ll just end up disappointed when everything is completely booked out.
2) If you still like sending out Christmas cards the traditional old skool snail-mail way or sending gift packages to family and friends far away – get in early! As you know, post offices are most likely the busiest at this time of year and it’s easy for mail to get lost or delayed.
3) Buy your gifts early to avoid the mad last minute rush (and the crowds) at the stores. Starting early also means you don’t have to purchase all your gifts at once (or just settle for anything because you didn’t have the time to shop). It’s easy to budget your purchases when you stagger them out. Buy one a week/fortnight if you have to up until Christmas and you should have everyone covered. It’s easy for us to all end up feeling broke with all the food and gifts that get purchased at this time of year but if you plan ahead, you can at least budget for it so you don’t feel like your wallet is completely empty by the time you start the New Year.
4) If you’re responsible for purchasing food for your celebrations, don’t leave it till the last minute either. Do your grocery shopping at least a day or two (or more) ahead of time and store it.
5) If you can’t afford to give gifts to all your family, suggest Secret Santa presents!
6) Use this time of year to reflect and appreciate all the important people and things in your life. A lot of the time, many of us get so busy with our own lives that we sometimes forget to appreciate all the other things that matter most. Enjoy the togetherness and get into the festivities – switch off from Facebook and go and enjoy Christmas light decorations, take the family carolling, cook or bbq together, or play games.
7) Forget the diets! We all know that being healthy is about your lifestyle anyway (not dieting), with everything in moderation. Don’t hold back enjoying festive foods on Christmas Day because you feel the need to be on a diet (just so you don’t get out of control during this time of year). The thing is, you should enjoy the food and just get back into your healthy living afterwards. Just don’t over indulge everyday for the entire month or two and you’ll be fine. If there’s one time of year where you should enjoy all the foods you don’t usually eat, it’s at Christmas time.
The holiday season is my favourite time of year and it should be happy and enjoyable, not stressful. So, hopefully these tips help you to enjoy the lead up to the holiday season.