Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

Christmas is a week away and there is a lot of craziness out there in the world.  Just last week two people died on our interstate that included the driver who caused the accident because he had caused a hit and run a few minutes before.  And all because he was drunk.  This past weekend I was at Walmart buying groceries and as expected, there were a lot of people doing last-minute shopping.  The thing about that is there were a lot of sour faces and upset employees.  Not really the holiday spirit huh?

Well, here I’d like to share a few tips that I use to keep me sane, not that I really go insane because I don’t really like to make a big deal about the things that don’t matter.  I hope that came out right.  Anyway:

Tip 1:  Never shop at peak holiday shopping times.  This includes Black Friday and the Saturday before Christmas.  Some sales may be good but is it really worth it to get that one coveted item?  If it is, all products and items tend to be on sale on other holidays too, such as stores with grand openings or even Halloween, the one holiday where stores begin Christmas before we even put up any ghosts!

Tip 2:  Don’t break the bank!  It’s amazing what stocking stuffers can do.  Kids, for example, tend to want a lot of toys so in addition to getting them one or two big toys, you can stuff their stockings with small toys from discount stores and home-made cookies.  All of a sudden their stockings are fat little treasures!

Tip 3:  Get gifts people really want.  Otherwise you are probably just wasting your money.  I get my kids toys I know they want and some that I want to expose them to, such as books.  My mother-in-law on the other hand, is difficult.  I don’t know what she really likes so I get her a gift card to a store I know she shops at all the time.  This way they can pick up something they really want.  I also add a batch of cookies.  That is always a winner!

Tip 4:  Don’t give anyone fruitcake!  Unless, of course, you know they have a liking for it.  Forgive me, but I don’t know a soul who does.  Instead, a good gift is a batch of home-made goodies:  small cakes, cookies, a bag of chocolate mix, a pot of atole, and so on.  People love to eat.  This is a good idea for a neighbor, your child’s school, a retirement home, the Rescue Mission, etc.  You don’t have to stress if you don’t have money to buy something for the masses.  This is a great alternative and people do really appreciate it.

Tip 5:  Don’t drive after it gets dark.  I’m not saying that accidents only happen at night, but people tend to be happier when it is light out during the holidays so they tend to pay more attention and can see better too.  There doesn’t seem to be as much rushing as in the evening hours.  Isn’t that true?  I don’t like driving in the night with my children because at least here in our city, I have seen a lot of police pulling people over more often than I am comfortable with.  I like to be home with a cozy fire in the fireplace eating dinner, having dessert with hot chocolate or whatever cup of cheer you may have at hand and watching a good holiday movie.  I love ABC Family because their programming is all about the 25 Days of Christmas so they present a lot of good holiday classics, stop motion animated classics and other, newer holiday programs.

Tip 6:  Last tip.  SMILE!  Say hello to fellow shoppers.  Offer to hold a door open.  Give up that parking spot to whoever wants it more.  You’ll find that you feel better and are happier yourself.  Your household is laughing more and you enjoy each other’s company.  And most importantly, you make lasting memories.

Stay sane!  Happy last week before Christmas!

ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas

ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas

 

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