During the holiday season, many people experience a significant amount of stress due to finances. There is no doubt that the holiday season can be costly. From the pricy foods needed to make traditional meals to the long list of gifts to purchase, cards to order, postage for cards and parcels, transportation to get to grandma’s house and the cost of decorations and the higher utility bills that come with the holiday lights and all the extra guests in the house, money can be tight.
These four strategies can help people reduce financial stressors during the holiday season.
Leave Something to Be Desired
Parents often fret about ensuring their child gets a good haul of gifts for the holiday season. Even if a child has been used to getting everything on his or her wish list, it is never too late to begin teaching a child that there is more to the season than getting a big pile of fancy gifts to open. Purposely leaving off a few items from a child’s wish list does not mean that he or she will have an unpleasant holiday. It shows that there is more to the season than material things, explains this article on WPTV.com.
Start New Rituals
Once some of the focus around the holidays is off the gifts, some additional new and positive changes can be made to add to the charm and fun. Consider creating some new rituals. Spending time together doing favorite activities like playing games or watching movies is an inexpensive option. Another idea to try is to give back to others. Invite a widow or widower over for dinner or shovel someone’s driveway or sidewalk. Visit a nursing home and sing with the residents. The memories created by doing these activities can last a lifetime.
Make the Holidays a Shared Experience
Hosting the holiday meals and other events does not have to be a drain on the wallet if it is made to be a shared experience. The main meal and desserts can be done potluck style to spread out the costs. Creating a comfortable and inviting home can be done with decorations already on hand along with old family favorites borrowed from family members can make for a fun experience for everyone. No one person can or should do it all.
Teach and Recognize the Importance of Gratitude
Keeping a gratitude journal is one way that older children and adults can reduce stress around the financial burdens of the holidays. When a person realizes what they have and are thankful for it, there is less of a desire for increasing material possessions. Parents can also take the time to teach their children about gratitude. Parents won’t have to feel guilty about simplifying gift giving. Focusing on the time spent together and being caring and loving individuals turns the attention away from whether or not a child got all the gifts he or she wanted.