The holidays are getting closer. You know what that means! Frequent shopping trips, rushing around to get things done, blowing through money, keeping up the lie that is Santa Claus, crying, eating yourself to death, and more crying.
While it does seem to aggravate the old anxiety, it’s a busy time for almost everyone. I haven’t met a person (with kids, anyway) who isn’t a wreck in the fall/beginning of winter.
I have found a few things that seem to keep my mind at ease, at least a little bit, through the “Cry in the Cold” period. Aside from looking forward to that sweet eggnog and pumpkin pie, anyway.
- Try to stay organized.
Through all the running around, a great way to keep your sanity is by writing down your schedules and lists. I learned the hard way that if you try to remember dates and items you need by memory, you’ll most likely forget something. Jot down specific dates for shopping and attach a list of items you plan to buy. It can be Christmas shopping or Thanksgiving shopping. If you’re buying online, it also helps to keep items in your cart until you’re ready to buy. By doing this, you don’t have to worry about rushing things and doing last-minute errands.
- Set aside the amount of money you need.
Easier said than done, right? Especially, with all the cute little socks and delicious snacks being brought back out. However, by creating a budget for each haul, you get done what needs to be done without worrying about it. You’ll already have your money on hand and you’re able to spend a bit on yourself. Divide each shopping trip and keep your budget for each trip separate. That way, you’ll have just enough to check off everything on your lists.
- Start as early as possible.
If you’re like me and you have a rather large family, it is best to start your shopping as early as possible. I have been known to buy the first Christmas gifts in July. Doing this gives you more time to get everything you need. It can also be less expensive. You won’t spend so much at once if you buy a little at a time.
Tip: Look for sales! If you don’t want to spend as much as your budget has, keep a lookout for sale papers and coupons. You can always use coupons for meals, and Christmas sales are even better! (Halloween costumes will also be on sale when November starts, so you can get your kids’ costumes for next year.)
My anxiety gets worse around October, November, and December. For obvious reasons, too. There is so much to buy and so much to do, but by doing these simple, little things, it may help ease some of your worries. Mostly, all I do is sit around and wait for Wal-Mart to start selling eggnog.