Stress-Free Holidays

So you want to have an enjoyable and stress free holiday season. Did you take my advice and make your list? If you haven’t then you will undoubtedly be caught up in a shopping/decorating/cooking frenzy. If you have made your list, then it’s time to steal a page from the holiday’s best multi-tasker. Make a list and check it twice! Break down your list into categories. Example: Top Priority, Things to Do, Gifts, Baking, Social Events etc. Also put deadline dates when applicable.

Now is the perfect time to have your first reality check of the season. Can you really accomplish everything on your list? Isn’t it time to abandon the Super Woman Syndrome? Start crossing off the things that you are not going to accomplish and also look for some short-cuts.

Let’s start with gift giving. Many large families have adopted the “pick a name” concept.  Instead of running around trying to figure out what everyone wants/needs, each person chooses one name. This way you can buy a more meaningful gift! In our family we have a three gift rule for Walter, Jamie, Cheryl and me. We buy each other three gifts. One is fun or stupid, one is a stocking stuffer and one is meaningful. (Of course Niccie is a whole other story).

An important question to ask yourself is, “Do you have more time or money?” If you have time, but no money then you can create personal gifts. Our UCW VP of Sales Nancy makes great date nut bread. Every Christmas, she sends me one. Honestly I appreciate that more than if she bought me a Coach purse.

If you are creative at all and have a glue gun, you can make cards, placemats and even small purses. It’s fun and easy!

Remember that giving a gift from the heart is usually appreciated more than anything you can buy. Most everyone loves receiving a “Good for One” coupon. It could be a “Good for One Bedroom Activity” for your husband or a “Good for One Babysitting Night” for your best friend. These  gift coupons are invaluable!

If you have no time and not a lot of money, then make sure you develop your spending budget and stick to it. You can use your gift giving creativity. Making a “Tea for Two” basket is simple; just get some varieties of tea and biscuits. Making your own basket is far more cost efficient than buying one already made.

Another great cost efficient idea is a movie package; DVD, popcorn and movie tickets. Of course you can host an UndercoverWear party and get lots of FREE products to give as gifts. We feature the top three “gifty” items…jewelry, jammies and spa products.

Undoubtedly, you’re going to spend some money on gifts. Make sure you allocate some time to research what you are buying and where you’ll get the bests deal. There are so many special offers available and it would be foolish not to take advantage of them. I have actually become the self-titled “Groupon Queen.”  For my aunt and uncle I bought them 4 different restaurant Groupons. I spent about $100 and they have a retail value of $250. Speaking of restaurants if you are buying a gift certificate make sure you look for those restaurants that give you a bonus with purchase. For instance, Red Lobster gives you an extra $25 certificate when buying a $100 gift certificate.

If you want to give a spa day, then look for one that offers a deal. Helen’s Haven in Hawaii will give a $100 gift certificate for only $85 and those offers are everywhere.

And again, look for online offers. I took advantage of a half price offer from spa wish. I purchased two gift certificates at $25 each and they have a retail value of $50 each. These certificates can be redeemed at a plethora of salons throughout the US. Right now Groupon is offering a $50 Spa Wish certificate for $35 (still a good deal)!

How about making a charitable donation in someone’s name? Whether it’s breast cancer research, the Humane Society or Wounded Warriors giving back is the perfect Christmas gift.  Those are some of my Christmas gift suggestions.

Now go to your gift list and decide the item you want to buy, the amount you want to spend and your deadline.  Keep this motto in mind: It’s getting late, don’t vacillate. Whether it’s buying balsamic vinegar or Louis Vuitton, make up your mind and get it off your last.

More hints coming your way.

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