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What is it about the Christmas season that causes us to overspend, overeat, and get stressed out during the holidays?

Seriously, this time of year is supposed to be about love, peace, and giving, but we’ve allowed it to degenerate into Black Friday craziness.

It’s a full on festival of stress!


Simplify Your Approach to Christmas

christmas simplify spend lessSo what can we do to counteract all the craziness that the holidays bring?

Well, first I think it’s important to recognize that the best way to make the Christmas season a more enjoyable time of year, is to simplify your approach to the season.

Or you could just give up and celebrate Festivus.


12 Steps To a Simpler Christmas

So to help out with that, here are 12 ways to lower your stress level, spend less, and increase your enjoyment of the Christmas holidays through simplifying your approach:

  • Don’t Spend What You Don’t Have-  Use cash or a debit card to buy gifts so you don’t end up with a post Christmas financial hangover.
  • Slow Down-  It’s so easy to rush, rush, rush, during the holidays and forget to relax and enjoy.  Take a chill pill and don’t feel like you have to please everyone.
  • Set Expectations-  Tell family and friends that you’re simplifying your holidays this year, and that you won’t make it to every party or give a gift to every person.  This lets you off the hook and allows you to put less pressure on yourself.  If your friends and family don’t like it, that’s their problem.
  • It’s OK to Say No-  Once expectations are set, follow through by committing only to the parties and people that are most important to you and bring you the most joy.
  • Give Less Gifts-  Don’t feel obligated to give a gift to everyone.  Giving because you feel obligated is not a way to bring joy to your life.  Focus on giving to those people that you love the most and make you the happiest.

12 Unique Ways to Spend Less and Simplify This Christmas

  • Don’t Go Crazy With The Christmas Decorations-  Some people really love to decorate for holidays (my wife Angie, for example).  But If trying to make your house into a Christmas village causes you more stress than it should, then cut back, decorate simply, and eliminate the stress that comes from trying to make everything look “perfect”.
  • Don’t Be a Control Freak-  Feeling like everything has to be “just perfect” for the holidays is a recipe for disaster.  You can have a nice Christmas season without stressing out over what people think about your party, your gift, or your décor.  Keep it simple, relax, and have a good time.
  • Make a Plan For Next Year-  For many people, Christmastime is stressful because they run up huge credit card bills.  Make a plan to start putting back money every month for Christmas spending.  Start in January, and when Thanksgiving comes around you’ll be able to leave the credit cards in your wallet.
  • Find Time To Relax at Night-  Turn on the Christmas tree lights, dim the room lights, and curl up with a good book or some good Christmas music and a cup of tea or cocoa.
  • Don’t Accept Every Invitation-  For me and many others, going to too many holiday parties can be stressful because there’s just not enough time to enjoy them all.  Accept only the invites that are the most important to you to minimize Christmas party fatigue.
  • Focus on Faith and Family-  Remember that ultimately Christmas is about loving God and loving others.  It’s not all about parties, gifts, large amounts of food, and sparkly decorations. 

It’s about loving people and spending time with them.

It’s about worshipping the God that made us and is there for us always.

It’s about recognizing that He was born and died for us.

That’s about as simple and stress free as it gets.

Enjoy your holidays!

Question:  Do you have any other ideas to simplify and spend less this Christmas?  Leave a comment and let me know.



Festivus For The Rest of Us?

How Do I Start a Budget?

Give Thanks By Giving

Heart Attacks and Setbacks


Ready to Get Serious About Getting Out of Debt?

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In this 6 day mini-course, I’ll reveal the steps that my wife Angie and I took to stop struggling with money, get out of debt, and pay cash for things like cars and college tuition!  Best of all, it’s absolutely free!

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  • Maria @ Pocket of Money

    Nice tips! Setting the expectations can help decrease the guilt some feel when they need to cut back on gifts.

    • That’s right, cutting back on Christmas shouldn’t take your family and friends by surprise. As long as they know what to expect, they will usually understand.

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  • CelesteL

    Christmas isn’t my holiday but people I know celebrate. I’ve made homemade gifts for years now. When my son was younger we used to make our own cards also with card stock or construction paper and glitter glue. Also I sometimes shop for Christmas stuff on Dec. 26th when it is 50% off, and save it for next year.

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  • MinaJoshi

    You have given some very good tips. Lately, we have started only giving gifts to the children in the family and none to the adults. It works fine as often we used to end up with gifts we didn’t really like!! After all Christmas is about families getting together and enjoying the company and being thankful for what we have.

    • Right, we have to remember that giving gifts is good, but letting that overtake the real reason we celebrate Christmas is definitely not a good thing!

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