Coping Through the Holidays, Part 2: Financial Burden
Affording all the expenses adds an unnecessary stress to the already overwhelming sensory mine-field of the holidays. Simply remember that the holidays don’t need to be as extravagant or stressful or expensive as the media says. Keep reading part two of our three part series for some great tips on how to survive this year and get organized to better prepare for next year. Missed part one? Read it NOW.
Christmas has a way of draining the bank account faster than any birthday or vacation ever could. We get caught up in decorating every year, buying gifts for everyone in the family, or teachers, dentists, the neighbor’s dog…. It can easily get out of control. There’s plenty of ways to avoid the financial stress of the holidays. If gift giving is what you do and you wouldn’t change it for the world, an easy way to reduce your financial stress is to start a Christmas fund as early as right after Christmas for the next year. Buy gifts online, or well in advance. If you spread the cost out over the year, it’s a little easier to manage.
If giving gifts completely stresses you out in general, consider not giving gifts. Simple thank you notes or cards are completely acceptable. Or suggest a Secret Santa or gift exchange for your office party or family gathering. Having birthdays around the holiday doesn’t make it any easier. Perhaps the birthdays are for gifts, and the Christmas season is simply to appreciate family and learn about giving. Donate to your local foodbank, or homeless shelter. No need to shop for the perfect gift – simply living essentials goes a long way.
Decorating is also a big part of financial stress around the holidays. We are pressured by the overwhelming amount of decorations on display around the holidays and picking up the odd item here and there can add up. Keeping your decorating minimalistic at home can help emphasize that you don’t need to decorate to the nines to have a great Christmas. Investing in a fake tree can really help your wallet each year. You can even decorate the tree with scented ornaments or make your own with Young Living Essential Oils.
Hosting the big event this year? Ask everyone to participate – whether it’s bringing a food dish, or organizing the gift exchange, or other party essentials. Just because everyone gathers at your home, doesn’t mean you’re in charge of everything. Consider yourself the venue. You deserve to have some fun and enjoy the social gathering too. Let the kids set the table, or wash up the dishes. It’s important to plan in advance and be clear with everyone involved what you need from them.
REMINDER: Christmas can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. If you feel you’re overwhelmed or struggling, please reach out. Book an appointment with your therapist – Aspirations Inc. has therapists available throughout the holidays – or speak to a trusted friend or family member. You are not alone and don’t have to suffer alone.