Okay, we all hear it, “…. Silver Bells….. Jingle All the Way…. Baby It’s Cold Outside….” all of the holiday music being pumped into our brains with every turn. Not to mention the scents of the perfect Fir tree around every corner. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of buying gifts for everyone on your list, your friend’s list and your friends’ friend’s lists too. If you are like me, you really WANT to buy something for everyone, but with the reality of your budget setting in, a little prior planning can help you break out the cheer without breaking the bank.
1. MAKE A LIST! Santa does it, why shouldn’t you? If the person is not on the list by Dec. 15th, don’t add them. Deals go down as the month goes on. This doesn’t mean you need to run out on Thanksgiving, but the best shopping deals are right before and the week after. Go during a time that is good for you… avoid the crowds and keep your yogic breath and brain nearby.
2. BUY EARLY! Not everyone can buy holiday gifts in July. So as you are able, spread out the spending over several weeks or even months and again… adhere to the list. Sometimes shopping early can lead to more purchases, so cross them off the list as you go.
3. MAKE A BUDGET! No one wants to pay for their holiday cheer with tears of debt in March, April and May. Be realistic on what you can spend.
4. GET CREATIVE! There are a number of very thoughtful ways to show your holiday cheer with friends & co-workers. Cards do nicely as well as small homemade items such as cookies, candles, photographs or a nice note.
5. REMEMBER WHY! For many the holidays are about family and friends. Your time with them is gift enough, go do something special… build a snowman, bake cookies, throw a small get-together with friends and really, truly enjoy the season with who matters most.