Simplify Your Holidays in 3 Easy Steps

Posted by Madison on December 15, 2008

Christmas Presents

Photography iwishtheyweremine by Paul Keleher

Is your December out of hand? Gift lists, parties, decorations, shopping….

I’m just as guilty, trying to squeeze in everything before the holidays. Let’s face it, adding stress to the holiday season doesn’t usually make it more fun. Today, let’s step back and assess what we have left to do. The Life Skills Network has created tips to help you simplify your holidays!

1. Simplify Your Shopping

Buy online. Online shopping has been the center of simplifying my holidays. I can compare prices, avoid crowds and ship items directly to recipients saving time and money. For ideas check out 10 Amazing Frugal Gift Ideas Under $20.

Don’t impose spending minimums. Don’t spend more on something silly just to meet a dollar amount. Last year I talked about Why I Won’t Spend the Same Amount on the Kids, but it works for any family member.

Shopping with kids. Impossible to get any shopping done with your kids in tow? Have them snap pictures for a wish list to keep them busy or buy for them right under their nose.

2. Simplify Your Decorating and Activities

Use a theme. We Save on Tree Trimmings and Holiday Decorations by assigning each member of the family a theme at Christmas time.

Pick just one project. Now that I’m home, I love working on projects with the kids. However, it’s easy to get carried away. I saw this fabulous idea for Advent Boxes, but it’s going to have to wait until next year. When in doubt, defer!

Bake once. I’m still in search of the perfect Christmas cookie that I can make for everyone. My aunt is known for her fudge; someday I’d like to have a recipe that everyone looks forward to. This year I’m trying Crunchy Peanut Butter Balls and they taste pretty good so far!

3. Simplify Your Life

Do fewer things. Don’t overcommit yourself to every party and holiday invitation you receive. Put your effort into seeing those who mean the most to you. Schedule time after the holidays to get together with others.

Get creative. A tradition in my extended family is a planned regift. It helps you Finish Your Christmas Shopping Under Budget.

Prepare for next year. Even if this year is already turning into chaos, there’s always next year. Be better prepared for Christmas next year.

More Ways to Simplify

Check out all the tips to simplify the holidays from The Life Skills Network:

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Comments to Simplify Your Holidays in 3 Easy Steps

  1. Shopping online is the only way to go! For all of the latest coupons and sales, you must check out iStorez. Basically, it pulls together all of the store specials across all of the major brands and retailers in real-time so you can get them in one place instead of at each individual site. Here’s their gift page if you’re interested –


  2. I love number 3 – do fewer things! My fiance and I have taken this to heart this year. In the past we’ve spent all our time on Christmas day going from house to house, party to party and at the end of the day we just felt exhausted.

    So this year we are getting together with family a few days before Christmas and then we have the entire holiday to ourselves. Its going to be so nice for a change!

    Thanks so much for the tips!

    ~ Jason

    Jason from Money Theory

  3. Simplify is definitely the answer. So much more enjoyable when it is on your terms. 🙂 I agree with lcowan…online shopping is the best!


  4. Here’s a weird tip for simplifying your shopping – buy more than one of the same thing. As long as you’re not buying clothes and the recipients aren’t close personal friends, they’re very unlikely to discover. And even if they did, so what? As long as it’s a great present and thoughtfully matched, why not?

    I’ve bought 5-6 copies of the same book (an investing book, not surprisingly!) some years. I’ve bought 3 copies of The Snowball for Christmas 2008…


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