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I love Christmas! The snow, the lights, the trees… It truly is the most wonderful time of the year. 

However, it is also the busiest time of the year – and the most expensive… With the holiday season, schedules tend to become very hectic, confusing and stressful. On top of that, there are meals to prepare, parties to plan, presents to buy, cookies to bake and the list just goes on and on and on! Suddenly things are no longer so jolly. 

So this year I decided that things are going to be different! I have come up with a simple set of rules to ensure that this year my Christmas is peaceful, inexpensive and well FUN!
Here goes:

Plan Ahead 
Don’t get caught of guard! Make a plan and stick with it. So get some paper and a pen! Make a calendar, stick it on your fridge and start booking off time slots so you can see what your doing and where you are going to be this season. Now, write down what dishes and desserts you will need to prepare and make a grocery list.  Can’t you feel the stress levels going down already? 

Reserve “Me” Time 
Everyone needs to reserve some “me” time (don’t forget to write it on your calendar!). Maybe you have some shopping to do, some gifts to wrap or maybe you just want to take a nap. Remember, me time is all about you! 

Give Thanks By Volunteering
Help someone in need this year. A little goes a long way! You can make a donation, help decorate your community, give grocery items to your local food bank or you volunteer at a nearby homeless shelter. 

Organize & Budget Your Gifts
With the extravagant marketing campaigns, catchy commercials and head turning merchandise displays, setting a strict budget on gifts is not easy. If you make a list of who you want to give gifts to and what you plan on buying them before you head to the mall, you will avoid the wandering “window shopping” effect. Keep focused on what you are shopping for and you will be in and out of there without spending a penny more! 

DIY Where You Can
From garlands to tree ornaments, Christmas decorations can get pretty pricy. Why not get a little crafty and do-it-yourself. It’s a great family activity and kids will love it! 
All in all, what is important is that you do what you want to do this Christmas. Have fun with your family and friends. Don’t get caught up in all the hype of big, bigger and biggest. It is a beautiful holiday, don’t ruin it for yourself by being overwhelmed, tired and stress out. After all, it is your holiday as well! 

What are you tips to enjoy more and spend less this season?

Wishing you and your families a very Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays!