Tis the season when people are shopping for Christmas gifts! However, some shopped throughout the year and are finished; others will wait until Christmas Eve and rush throughout the malls and department stores racing against the clock to get it done. That person used to be me. “NOW”, I think outside of the box and I have listed some ways you can reduce your level of stress by thinking outside of the box.
Ask yourself why you are shopping for gifts at Christmas – Some people shop because it is tradition and others may shop out of obligation. For example, they do it because there is a gift exchange at work, attending holiday parties and don’t want to go empty handed or perhaps you believe someone is going to buy you a gift so you purchase everybody that you think is going to purchase a gift for you.
Examine the true meaning of Christmas – Consumers often get caught up in the commercialization of Christmas and some do not remember the true meaning behind Christmas. Christmas is the day that Christians celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus the Christ. I challenge you to dig deeper into the meaning.
Consider adjusting your traditional way of celebrating Christmas – Find a soup kitchen and volunteer to serve the homeless. Invite a single parent and his/her children that you know are struggling over for Christmas dinner. Purchase a gift for children that will not receive anything at Christmas. Consider giving of yourself using your talents or gifts; you can create gift certificates and place them inside of a Christmas card. For example, perhaps you are good at housekeeping, detailing vehicles, cooking meals, babysitting, house sitting, pet sitting, administration skills. These are only a few; there are so many other creative ways that you can give of yourself without being stressed or breaking the bank.
Pay your bills FIRST! – During this season, some people tend to skip paying their bills using the money for Christmas shopping. Avoid the stress, the bills will show up. If they are not paid now they will have to be paid later with added delinquent fees, including the next month’s payment. That’s stressful! If you have some money allocated but are struggling, wait for the after Christmas sales; it’s less stressful and you save more money.
Start saving loose change NOW for Christmas shopping in 2014! – At the end of each day, drop your loose change in a coffee can, piggy bank, or jar; you choose. The average dollar amount that we have saved in loose change throughout the year is $600- $700. I challenge you to give it a try, pennies do add up!
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