It’s here….the holiday season! My mom calls this time the “Christmas tsunami,” a force coming in so fast and furious that it’s hard not to get swept away. Even though I love the holidays (especially with kids!), I’ve outlined some tips to make room for the holidays in our homes, minds, and wallets so that we don’t get too carried away.
Make Room in Your Closet
Even though it obviously well intentioned, the amount of “stuff” at Christmas really bothers me. I find that if I try to make room before things come in, it helps in several ways. First of all, going through and clearing closets and toy cabinets with your children can help foster a more grateful attitude. Instead of the constant, “Can I put that on my Christmas list?” it’s nice to stop and see what we already have. It’s also good to think about what toys we love and might buy and donate to another child.
Secondly, making room in your closets helps manage clutter later on. There are many organizations that will take your gently used toys, coats, boots, and clothing for families in need. Clearing out your closets also helps you focus your gift-giving needs. If your husband has 3 fleeces in his closet (like mine), does he really need a new coat? If there are puzzles stuffed in the back your kid’s closet, why not just move them to the front and save yourself from buying a new one? Knowing what you already have can prevent you from buying what you don’t need.
Make Room in Your Budget
To avoid buyer’s remorse in January, it’s good to budget and keep track of purchases. Make room in your budget, and try to stick to your original spending plan. One thing that has really helped me do this is streamlining our gift-giving list. Ask yourself if the people that you are giving gifts to really need or expect a present from you. For example, the adults in our extended family participate in a Yankee swap that requires each person to purchase one gift for $25, rather than a present for each person. Think about the ways that you could cut down on spending this season.
Make Room in Your Heart
While your making your budget, remember to try and make room for families in need. This winter, many families need warm clothes, coats, and boots. They also need food. And kids need toys…imagine a Christmas for your family without them? If extra money is not in your budget, maybe you can make room for extra time instead. Look around for places you can volunteer and give of yourself to others.
Make Room in Your Schedule
If your calendar is like ours, it is filling up quickly with invitations to breakfasts with Santa, tree lightings, shopping events, gingerbread making, cookie swaps, and holiday parties. To prevent burnout, it’s a good idea to prioritize what events you love and which you could stand to skip this year. Don’t get holiday burnout trying to do it all.
Make Room For Yourself
Last, but definitely not least, make room for yourself this season. Treat yourself to a haircut, an outfit for the holidays, or even just a break from the chaos with some time alone.