Genuine Gifts: Celebrating the Season with Simplicity

Holidays are fun but frantic. The parties, travel, shopping, and decorating that we look forward to all year are enjoyable. But they can lead to overwhelm as the to-do (and to-buy) list grows. The good news is, there are plenty of festive ways to celebrate the season without upping your angst and breaking the bank. Here are a few stress-free tips to help you enjoy the season with ease:

  • Holiday Hiatus: Give yourself the gift of leisure by taking a trip to a destination you’ve always wanted to visit for the holidays. Let friends and family know that you’ll be out of town for a while and won’t be able to participate in many (or all) of the usual exchanges and events. Have a get together in the new year to share photos and tales of your adventure!
  • Luck of the Draw:Simplify your gifting by drawing names at home or at the office so everyone is only responsible for buying one present. This relieves pressure and allows the giver to put more thought (and maybe a little more money) into one well-chosen item, rather than scattering cash on multiple, less-inspired trinkets.
  • Kind Contributions:Holidays are an ideal time to make charitable giving a family affair. For older kids, choose an affordable sum of money that you will donate to a charity of their choice. Have them research the organization online and explain why the mission is meaningful to them. If multiple donations aren’t in the budget, ask each family member to suggest a charity and vote on where the money will go.
  • Bake & Take:Gather up your favorite recipes and invite friends and family over to make a bounty of holiday treats. Pack them up in colorful boxes or bags and distribute to police stations, firehouses and homeless shelters to thank those who often sacrifice their own holiday time to ensure the safety and well-being of others.

Try one or more of these suggestions for a holiday that’s simply wonderful!