Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Keeping Your Sanity During the Holidays

With the holidays right around the corner, many people are getting more and more stressed because they are taking on more than they can handle. I’ve been there, done that and it’s not worth it in the end. Now, I sit back and watch other people get stressed out and fight over the last toy in stock or the closest parking space. If you are one who gets excited over traveling and shopping during the holidays here are a few suggestions I think you could use to help you have cheerful, memorable holidays this year.


Suggestion one: Be Frugal
The biggest advice you may hear these days from finance gurus is to limit credit card use. After the holidays, reality along with depression sets in for many. They end up with more bills than they can handle and all on high interest credit cards. A lot of these high interest cards are opened after a store offers a 10% discount or more on merchandise for new accounts. This is too good to be true. The stores know there is a big chance these cards will not be paid off before interest accrues. More money for them, more bills for you. With interest rates as high as they are you’ll also be paying more than the item is worth. In most cases, you’ll still be paying for an item that is no longer being used, like a child’s toy, which may possibly be broken by the time the New Year rolls around.


Calling people can mean more than mailing an expensive gift. I’m a bit old-fashioned and not big on text messaging, but I have learned to appreciate the fact that people take time to send a quick “Happy Holidays” even if it was sent to everybody listed in their phone. It’s the thought that counts right? LOL


Suggestion two: Be nice
Being around family during the holidays can work some people’s nerves. A lot of personalities are gathered around during these times. A shared history may dredge up bad memories. Alcohol often brings down inhibitions making it easy for most people to be no longer guarded.
When drama starts raring its ugly head try letting comments roll off you like water on a duck’s back. Easier said than done, but possible. Be bold and try some assertiveness as opposed to aggressiveness-an action that will only make matters worse. When all else fails, remember and remind everyone of the good times. Keep your sense of humor when everyone loses theirs.


Suggestion three: Be thankful
Not to end on a sad note, but a large number of people didn’t make it this far into the year. My 89-year-old great-grandfather passed away a few short weeks ago. An acquaintance of mine lost her cousin last weekend. Lastly, my spouse’s old co-worker and friend has been in the hospital for a month with no health insurance. Regardless of how many presents I receive this Christmas and regardless of what my drunk uncle says at Thanksgiving that might offend me, I am going to make the conscious decision to be thankful that I am healthy and in my right mind.


Now, as you begin this holiday season in the weeks to come, I hope you remember this article. Think about how putting those presents on credit will affect you two or three months down the road. You might be better off making simple, yet thoughtful telephone calls. Try showing family more love with kind words-a soft answer turns away wrath. Most of all take time to slow down and be thankful. Hopefully, these three tidbits of advice will keep you sane during this holiday season.

1 comment:

sapphirestarr said...

Great Post, I agree 200% spend less, love more! What keeps me grounded is to be thankful for what I Do have, accept my family for who they are and to remember that Jesus is the Reason.

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