The holiday season is over. Happy New Year!!!!!!The Christmas cheer and Thanksgiving decorations are packed away until next year. Uncle Bill is enjoying the new chain saw you bought him, your daughter or son the latest Xbox 360 games or laptop. Everyone is having a blast. But not you. It’s three a.m. and you find yourself awake worrying about the credit card bills you acquired the past three months. Well, this is one anxiety I can help you alleviate.
One of the things I’ve been blessed with is that I’ve always enjoyed a stress free post holiday season. This wasn’t luck, it was a conscious decision my family made together because of illnesses and other life challenges.Below are my four best tips to help you tackle the season with cheer……..
1. Keep Your Perspective: Most of us want to give our best to those we love. But what is our best? Each year you have to redefine this for yourself. If someone in your family hasn’t worked because of an illness or you lost your job because of layoffs at your company during the year, you probably won’t have a lot of money to splurge on expensive gifts. Schedule a family meeting within the next few days to discuss your situation. You don’t have to paint a picture of gloom and doom for your family, especially the children, but they should all be aware of the situation.
2. Set a Budget: The most productive way to counter post holiday financial blues is to take purposeful action now. Don’t wait for the axe to drop. During your meeting, plan a holiday budget. Set a dollar amount for each family member and stick to it. Avoid tempting sales--statistics show that we spend twice as much during a sale. Plan menus and include the cost in the budget.
3. Utilize Your Resources: Remember you’re not in the situation alone. Work with family and close friends to come up with creative ways to get through the season cheaply. Identify your strengths and make a list of them. Then list the strengths of those you rely on. Next take a look at the items on your lists. Maybe someone is good with crafts or loves baking. In this technological era, people feel special when receiving a handmade gift or a dozen cookies straight from the oven. Save money by making your own decorations. Look online for ideas. One website I discovered this year is www.HomeMadeSimple.com.
4. Remember Your Joy: If you’re experiencing lean times it’s difficult to always stay positive. But extensive research shows that people who purposely cultivate positive thoughts deal with stress much better. So each day look for something to be happy about or grateful for in your life…then smile…and hold close to your heart the fact that there is one thing you can know for sure: There is joy in every situation.Now, it’s your turn. Let’s pool our resources and come up with other tips and ways to have a HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON!!!