Making it “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”

It is time to enjoy some calm!!!

Each year during the holidays, I enjoy listening to that famous
Christmas song, “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year sung
by Andy Williams. Although it is supposed to be a joyful time,
I see many people feeling the Christmas blues. We are faced with
added pressures like Christmas cards, baking, shopping,
traveling and decorating. Not to mention we tend to enjoy
delicious food and celebrate with drinks this time of year.
So what can you do to make it the most wonderful time for you?

Have a List and Check it Twice
You probably already knew this was coming. Have a dollar
amount in mind on how much you are going to spend total,
and how much you’re going to spend on each individual,
to avoid blowing it all on a few items. You are not being a
Scrooge, you instead are taking control. Write out a list of
all the gifts you plan to buy. When you shop, don’t fall for
the temptation to buy things for yourself, the stores already
know you are coming. Letting your credit card loose by
overspending will make you feel like grandma who got
run over by a reindeer. You want to start off the New Year
not in a hole with a massive credit card balance, but rather
with some momentum. Keep that as the goal.

The Gift that Keeps on Giving
The internet has opened up a huge opportunity to find
discounts on items, thus saving money a little here and a
little there. Before I purchase, I search for discounts available.
I examine the company’s weekly website flyer to find what
is on sale and if there is a percentage off sale going on. Another
place to look is sites like retailmenot.com and savings.com
to find coupon codes for major retailers. If you would like to
find a specific store’s current discounts, then type in an
internet search engine: coupon code for __________ .
Just fill in the blank with the store name and Merry Christmas
to some savings. Sometimes you can even find a code for
free shipping!

Avoid the Chaos
If you took a poll, most people would say they hate
brick and mortar Christmas shopping. It is hard to find
parking, the crowds, the noise and the rush can make
it a Grinch experience. And let’s not even get started
on the long, seemingly never-ending lines! If you can’t
find a deal online then search the company’s website
for ideas and you will also know ahead of time what
it will cost. Print out the description and sleigh on
over to the mall as soon as possible to avoid the
last minute rush of procrastinators. Give the store clerk
your print out so you can avoid wasting lots of time
looking around the store for the gift. Your best bet is to
shop during the week when the stores first open in the
morning or just before the stores close. Pace yourself,
you don’t want it to be a Black Christmas by trying
to buy everything in a day.

Holiday Cheer
This time of year we are surrounded by lots of delicious
food and drink. The billions of calories we are offered
at Christmas parties, family celebrations, and don’t forget
the eggnog, are incredible. I love eggnog. This is certainly
not the time to be on a diet. There is no reason to feel
guilty about enjoying yourself, but the overindulging with
food, drink and those sugary Christmas treats can bring
you down. In addition, due to the time commitments of
all the things we need to get done, the added stress will
make us want to eat more. The exercise routine you
once had can get lost in the shuffle with all the family
commitments you have during the holidays. Find the time
to exercise even if it is for 5 to 10 minutes a day to keep those
endorphins flowing in your body.

These are just a few things you can do to bring peace
on earth around you during the holidays. This holiday season,
make it a point to remember that it truly is, ”The Most Wonderful
Time of the Year.” And when you hear Andy Williams singing
the song, stop for a moment to take it all in knowing that it’s
possible to be financially calm this time of the year.

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