Tips for a Stress-Free December

December is one of the most stressful times of the year for anyone.  It’s easy to get overwhelmed in the midst of the crowds, trees, lights, bows and the endless Santa’s asking what you want under the tree.  If only we can ask for all our bills to be paid, dinners to be made and all the shopping be done while we enjoy hot chocolate by a warm fire.  You may not be able to get it all done in your snowflake pajamas but we can definitely help cut the stress down as much as possible! 

Make a list

We’re not talking about the one you make of all the things you want.  Making a list of everyone you have to buy something for and what you’re getting them makes everything run a bit more smoothly.  If you have some people on your list that you’re not that close with, you can put them on one list reserved for generic gifts.  That way you have a bunch of people that you can give the same bundle of little items for such as candles, lotions and little liquor bottles, etc.  This is also helpful when figuring out a budget or trying to stick to one. You can see where you can spend a save a bit of money and where you can spend a bit more.

Order online

This is something you can get done this week and not have to worry about until it arrives! And you can do it from the comfort of your own home. Be sure to double check all the shipping deadlines for whatever you order to make sure it’ll arrive in time.  Ordering early also lets you take advantage of Cyber Monday deals to make sure you can keep more of your money in your pocket. 

Skip peak hours at the mall

December is the worst time to attempt to find a parking spot at a shopping mall, much less actually getting in to the place.  Going to the mall is far from a stress-free experience but there are a few things you can do to make it a bit more bearable.  Avoiding the mall on a weekend is key.  Everyone else is trying to get their own errands done, and in the winter, people just need something to do that will keep them out of the cold.  Try making a trip once a week, either first thing as the mall opens, at lunch, or after work.  Don’t forget there’s countless outlet malls and department stores that will save you the visit to the mall but if you must make the trip, get what you need from there first so you can avoid the procrastinators running around a few days before Christmas.

Gift Cards/Prepaid Visas

If you’re stuck on what to get some of the people on your list, save some time by skipping the shopping trip and just pick up different gift cards that would suit each person you’ve got to buy for.  You can easily grab a variety of them at certain drug stores.  Another great idea is to gift a prepaid Visa.  It allows the person to use the funds wherever they may choose.  It provides freedom that gift cards lack.  


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