It may be called the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” but it can easily become the most stressful time of the year for busy families who are struggling to make ends meet. Between managing the time-consuming traditions, affording gifts for all of the people on your list, and managing to put together a Christmas dinner worthy of the title, the sheer amount of work involved in creating a picture-perfect holiday each year is staggering. These 30 blog entries offer practical, real-life advice for cutting through the extraneous trappings and getting down to the real heart of the matter.
Few things are responsible for as much holiday tension as the looming specter of financial strain. Purchasing gifts for everyone on your list and ensuring that little ones have a memorable season can leave families struggling with debt well into the New Year. These five blogs discuss the importance of budgeting for the entire Christmas holiday, from how much you can afford to spend on dinner to how many toys you can buy.
- Home Budgeting Tips: Saving Christmas on a Budget
- GUEST POST: Christmas On A Zero-Budget
- Santa’s Not Coming: How to Budget for Christmas Today
- 12 Weeks Until Christmas: Prepare Your Holiday Budget Now
- Budgeting for Christmas Shopping Before it’s too Late
Discouraging Materialistic Attitudes
There’s no denying the fact that today’s kids are targets of more aggressive marketing than perhaps any generation before them. Helping your kids overcome a sense of entitlement and a commercially-fueled view of the winter holidays isn’t easy, by any means. It is necessary, however, to ensure that everyone in your household has the best holiday possible. The subjects of these five blogs center on the difficult necessity of curbing commercially-driven attitudes during the Christmas season.
- How to Discourage Materialism in Children
- Children, Christmas, and the Materialism Battle
- How to Escape Materialism and Find Happiness
- US Consumers Shell Out $22 Billion Online for the Holidays So Far
- Getting Rid of the “Gimmies”: How to Squelch Materialism in Your Child
Shooting for a simple Christmas Dinner certainly doesn’t have to mean preparing a boring one. In fact, you may be forced to become more creative than ever in order to bring the meal off without a hitch. These five bloggers offer menu plans for the holidays that feature simpler dishes, helping you avoid overkill and get back to a more traditional sense of the holiday.
- Simple Christmas Menu Plan
- Christmas Dinner Plans
- Cooking Methods And Recipes for Christmas Dinner
- Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas – 9 Tips for Easy Holiday Meals
- Stress Free Christmas: Easy Meal Planning
Decorating on a Smaller Scale
The Christmas season may be synonymous with decking the halls, but it’s not always necessary to go all out. Keeping your decorating scheme on a smaller scale can help you actually enjoy the process of festive decorating and engaging in seasonal activities by avoiding the stress that accompanies a major seasonal decor overhaul.
- Simple Christmas Mantel 2011
- Easy Christmas Decorating Ideas Anyone Can Achieve
- Quick & Easy Colourful Christmas Decor Ideas
- Last Minute Easy Christmas Decor
- Simple, Quick and Easy Christmas Decor
No weapon in your simplification arsenal is as powerful as having the determination to plan ahead. Making a game plan well in advance will allow you to adjust strategies as the need arises and to move efficiently to accomplish as much as possible in a short amount of time, without a breakdown-inducing level of stress. These five bloggers extol the virtues of a strong strategy, and offer advice and tips for putting such a plan to work for you.
- 21 Days to a More Organized Christmas: Plan Ahead to Make Memories
- Plan Ahead for Christmas Traditions
- Planning Ahead: Christmas 2010
- Planning for a Simpler Season – 60 Days & Counting
- Time to Plan Ahead for Christmas with These Helpful Tips
The Art of Saying “No”
No one likes to tell a child, family member or loved one “no.” There are times, especially during the Christmas holidays, however, when it’s absolutely necessary to learn how to gracefully decline invitations and tell your children that they simply cannot always have their way. These five blogs discuss the best ways to politely refuse while still holding on to your dignity without offending others.
- Saying No to Family and Friends
- Keep Holiday Stress to a Minimum: Learn to Say No
- Survey: 76 Percent of Parents Feel Guilty about Saying “No” to Kids
- 7 Ways to Tell Your Kids That You Can’t Afford It
- Making Christmas Merry: It’s OK to Have an “Imperfect” Christmas. And it’s OK to Say No.
This has been a guest blog submitted by Sara Dawkins on behalf of Nanny Pro.
Image source: McManus Party of Five