by Contributing Writer, Shavonta Arline
The year is winding down and for many of us that means holiday parties, gift-buying, traveling and deadlines that all fall under the umbrella of “stressors.” As much as we all tend to love this time of year, it can be a little crazy trying to balance and tend to all of the things that require our attention without feeling frazzled and overwhelmed. Below are a few tips to keep you together as you go dashing through the snow.
1. Do Let The Pressure Get To You: If you’re like me, you’ve been invited to social engagements that you’d love to say yes to except you don’t the time with constraints associated with work or class. Even though you may feel little guilty for not being able to accept every invitation, there’s really no reason to let it dampen your mood. If your pressed for time, find creative ways to spread some love and interact with others such as sending out nice cards with special messages for those you won’t be able to celebrate with. If you have a little spare time, try dropping off a nice thoughtful gift or get a head start on planning a New Year gathering during January for you and your pals when everyone’s schedule may slow down. There’s no need to become so stressed trying to be everywhere such that your season goes from merry to miserable!
…make out a little budget of what you have to purchase gifts with and how many people you want to shop for
2. Mind Your Money: Even though most of us know that Christmas is not about material things, we often like to share in the blessing of our provision by purchasing gifts for our loved ones. This is all fine and dandy, after all, there’s nothing like giving a gift that puts a smile on someone’s face….just make sure you don’t go into debt doing it. If you are like me, you have a lot of people you want to give gifts to, but you may not have a lot of money to do it with. Now I’m not a financial adviser but I would like to share a common sense tip with you: don’t spend what you don’t have. If you haven’t already, make out a little budget of what you have to purchase gifts with and how many people you want to shop for and see what you have to work with.
Also don’t be afraid to get creative. I am a crafter at heart and I often make candles and soaps for my friends and family in their favorite fragrances. It may not be the latest Michael Kors bag but it’s thoughtful, loving and sensible. #snap Remember family and friendship is about being there for one another the rest of the 364 days of the year, not what you bought for them on Christmas!
3. Do a Few of Your Favorite Things! I am an enormous advocate of taking time for oneself to relax at all times and under all circumstances. It’s great to be busy and accomplishing things but it’s not cute to neglect yourself! Don’t go there this holiday season! While you’re out thinking of others, slip inside your favorite cafe for an indulgent moment with a raspberry hot chocolate, pamper your toes at the nail salon, bake some of your favorite cookies and sip wine or catch up on all those holiday TV specials you’ve DVR’d and just relax at home. All of the things you want to do this holiday season will take energy, and our energy is revitalized when we take periods of rest to regenerate.
4. Remember What it’s All About: I would be remiss if I didn’t leave you with a small memory jogger about why we celebrate Christmas in the first place. It’s not to tear up the mall buying gifts that may or may not be used, it’s not to flounce around town at parties gobbling finger foods, and it’s not about running yourself ragged trying to capture the spirit of the season. Christmas is about celebrating the gift of Christ coming into the world, an event that has forever changed the course of humanity. So have some fun, spread some cheer but don’t forget who Jesus is and why He came here!