Tips for a calm Christmas

Christmas Calm: 10 Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday Season

Sure, you love the holiday season--but just not so much of it! This year, you're hoping to cut the crazy out of Christmas: to trim the celebration back to one that is sustainable and calm.

Question is, just how do you do less--and enjoy it more--during the Christmas holiday season?

If you're aiming to simplify Christmas, take time to ponder ways to cut stress, save money and tame over-the-top traditions. Setting simplicity strategies in place early will keep you from being swept up in holiday madness.  Try these ideas:

Celebrate with kids

Low-Cost, No-Cost Ways To Celebrate Christmas with Kids

Cutting costs at Christmas doesn't mean celebrating like Scrooge. It's not about what you buy--it's about what you do! 

Putting "celebration" at the center of the season--and taking the focus off of gifts and giving--can be the key to happy holidays that don't break the bank.

Better, when it comes to kids and Christmas, cheap is good! Simple, inexpensive family activities can be as meaningful as pricey Nutcracker tickets--and no need for scratchy dresses or dress-up suits. 

Try these no-cost, low-cost ways to celebrate the holiday season with kids:

Make Room for Santa: Pre-Season Toy Declutter
Cut toy clutter before Christmas
Cynthia Ewer October 14, 2020

Holidays ahead!  About this time of year, it's a good idea to contemplate the toy situation in your child's room.  Adding Santa's bounty to overstuffed kids' rooms is a recipe for January clutter disaster. Clear the decks and cut kid clutter with a pre-holiday toy clear-out.

It's a fact of modern life. Children's playthings have exploded in number, size, and complexity, while children's storage options have remained static. Just try storing a Happy Meal collection in the average toy box! Even the best-organized kid's rooms can easily drown in today's toy avalanche.

Organize online shopping

Three Tips for Smart Online Shopping

Planning for Christmas, catalog or online shopping has many advantages over the holiday mall scene. 

No long lines. No sore feet. No staggering to the car, weighed down by parcels and shopping bags. 

Shopping becomes a pleasure, conducted from a favorite chair. Make your choice, load your cart, sit back, and wait for the UPS man. Ahhhhh!

Still, it's possible to have too much of a good thing! Holiday promotions sweep in at the end of August, filling email inboxes--and disorganized shopping exacts a high price for convenience.

Save on Christmas

Santa Saves: Shop Back-to-School for Holiday Savings

With summer winding down, school is on the way--and so are rock-bottom prices on back-to-school needs! 

During late summer, office supply stores engage in penny price wars, while discount stores bring racks of school supplies front and center ... and cheap! 

Back-to-school loss leaders--products sold below cost to attract sales--are hot and heavy in the supermarkets these days--and even the crafts stores offer a variety of binders, stickers and backpacks at sharply reduced prices.

Meal prep and menu planning

Menu Planning: Save Time In The Kitchen

What's for dinner? It's the question of the hour!  Too many of us look for answers in the supermarket at 5 p.m. Harried from the day's work and harassed by by hungry children, we rack our brains to solve the what's-for-dinner dilemma.

Three meals a day. Seven dinners a week. From supermarket to pantry, refrigerator to table, sink to cupboard, the kitchen routine can get old, old, old.  No wonder we hide our heads like ostriches from the plain and simple fact: into each day, one dinner must fall.

What's the answer? A menu plan.