Are you gearing up for the holidays? The season can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a little overwhelming. If you want to make sure you’re able to enjoy yourself without sacrificing your lifestyle or health, here are eight tips to help you out.
1. Plan early
It’s hard enough to manage everything during the holidays, so plan early as possible. For example, if you know you’ll be hosting guests over Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, start cooking early, even if it’s just stuffing and mashed potatoes. That way, when the company arrives, there will be plenty of food ready to eat (and fewer dishes for everyone). Make lists of what needs to get done before the party starts; that way, you won’t have to worry about forgetting anything-or rushing around the store at the last minute.
2. Get festive
Putting up holiday decorations is one of the best parts of this time of year, so don’t be shy. Recent studies have shown that responsible spending will make you happier, increasing overall happiness. You might not be able to afford an entirely new wardrobe, but sprucing up your existing seasonal sweaters or buying an ornament for your Christmas tree are simple but effective ways to spend within your lifestyle.
3. When in doubt, rent a boat
This time of year is hectic for many people involved in vacation rentals. Rental jumps by 21 percent over its pre-holiday levels during Thanksgiving and Christmas vacations alone. Consider renting a boat or some picnic tables at the park for large gatherings.
4. Keep an eye on things
Make sure to take inventory of what you’ve purchased (and need to purchase) before the big day. Figure out what foods are already in your pantry and freezer, then prioritize purchases based on necessity instead of buying more than you need. Don’t get stuck with the food you won’t eat just because it’s purchased ahead of time. If shopping isn’t your strong suit, hire someone else to do it for you. That way, no matter who is coming over, they’ll be guaranteed to have something delicious.
5. Personalize gifts
Remember when everyone exchanged handmade holiday cards, or maybe even handmade gifts? While those gifts might have been more thoughtful, personalizing a gift doesn’t always require as much effort. If you know your host likes to cook beyond the traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, have a few special spices or sauces delivered before the big day so that they don’t have to worry about going out last minute.
It’s easy to go overboard with all of the holiday festivities happening simultaneously, especially if you’re hosting guests on top of attending every possible party yourself. To avoid getting entirely overwhelmed at each event, ask close friends and family members to watch your kids for you while you attend an evening celebration. You’ll be able to enjoy yourself instead of worrying about what’s going on back at home.
Alcohol can be expensive, so one way to save some money is to bring your own booze. This works incredibly well if you’re attending a party or celebration at someone’s house-just make sure you know what the hosts are serving ahead of time.
8. Embrace technology
While we all love spending time with family and friends during the holidays, sometimes a little alone time is necessary (especially for parents). If you find yourself in need of some relaxation, consider using technological options like streaming services or video games to keep yourself occupied. That way, you’re still participating in holiday festivities but on your own schedule.
9. Take a heart to heart
It can be hard to open up about your lifestyle, especially during the holidays. However, if you feel down or frustrated with your lifestyle choices, it might be time to take a step back and have an honest conversation. The holidays are supposed to be fun. If you’re not spending them the way you want, don’t hesitate to mention it. You never know; someone might even have some lifestyle tips that could help you improve your lifestyle.
10. Get organized
The holidays are a great time to get organized and start fresh for the new year. If you’re having trouble getting started, try using a planner or your favorite productivity app to help you out. Having everything written down in one place will make it easier for you to stay on top of things and avoid stressful surprises.
The holiday season can be a lot of fun, but it’s also important to make sure that you don’t overspend or sacrifice your lifestyle in the process. By following these ten tips, you’ll be able to enjoy yourself while still staying within your budget and maintaining your lifestyle! Rock the holidays—responsibly.