It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year...For A Nervous Breakdown.

How do you keep your cool this time of year?  Every year I try to not get caught up in the consumer frenzied rush this Season can bring.  And though I love the social aspect of Holiday parties, it's impossible to be at three places at once.  I resolve to:

Set limits ~AKA Learn to Say NO!
Keeping in line with this sentiment, some of my frequent visitors may notice I have scaled back my post schedule for this blog. I usually commit to posting new content Monday, Wednesday, and Friday here.  Plus posting on my second blog Humble Pie~ Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.  As my work schedule has increased at the store, I want to spend as much time with my daughter when I'm home, therefore, the blog posts are the first thing to reduce on my To-Do list.

Part two of this resolution involves determining which parties and activities we are going to attend.  It is impossible for us to say yes to every party.  Work schedules and family events just don't allow for it.  As your calendar of invites piles up, plan what events you are going to attend and RSVP to the hosts either way.  An RSVP request means you need to inform the Host if you ARE or ARE NOT going to their event. Don't be guilted into saying yes. Be firm. Be Honest. Be kind.  With the really pushy friend that won't take "No" for an answer- ask for a rain check "girls night out" and plan a special date after the Christmas and New Years rush.

Stick to a Budget.
Write a list of people you intend to buy or make presents for.  Determine your budget and stick with it.  There are years I start my shopping early and end up buying too much, because I either forget that I've already bought a gift for someone, or there are SO many nice things in the stores I can't resist.  I have determined to not use ANY credit this year and so far have stuck with it.  With the vast price-matching options at some of my favourite stores, sticking to a budget is working so far.  Recent price matching deals include a $20 xbox game at Walmart and a $79 blu-ray player from SuperStore on their NO TAX event (plus I had $50 in Gift Cards from blogging for Loblaws so scored big on that deal)!

Scale down expectations.
I LOVE to give presents but every year I claim that I will spend less.  I set out with great intentions to give only home made items.  As December rolls around, I begin to feel guilty and don't want to seem cheap or scrooge-like, so I end up buying presents anyway.  There are people in my life that don't NEED anything. Why are we still exchanging gifts?  It is hard to be a scrooge in a family circle that loves to exchange gifts every year "because it is the thing to do."  I am still trying to convince my family that we shouldn't buy presents anymore, but donate to charities in each others names instead.  They aren't convinced yet, so that is one battle I haven't conquered. So far I'm trying to stick to the homemade gifts idea, but have started to buy small useful items or treats as add-ons to my home baked goodies.

How do you conquer the stress this Season can bring? Are you cool as a peppermint mocha latte?  Or an over-achiever running on candy cane fumes and the rush of Midnight madness sales?

Here is a video of a Christmas over-achiever.  While this may be pretty to look at, I know there are people that spend the entire year thinking and preparing for Christmas. Whether it be obsessing over the lights and decor or trying to buy the "perfect" presents.  What is the final product of all your hard work?  What are you hoping to achieve? There are no OSCARS for Christmas Over Achiever of the Year!








*This is not a sponsored post, all opinions are honest and my own.** Stressed Woman in Santa Hat Image from 123rf.com

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