Reality Check

Holiday planning needs to be grounded in cold hard reality.  Try these ideas to keep Christmas plans on time and on budget.

No More UFOs! Get-Em-Done Strategies for Handmade Holiday Gifts
organize holiday gifts and crafts
Visitor (not verified) November 10, 2021

Scanning a list of handmade craft gifts is something like reading a cookbook: it makes you hungry! 

Whether you wander the crafts store, settle in at the library's craft bookshelf, or browse online, visions of bright and beautiful gifts follow one after the other. Will this be the year you give hand-crafted gifts ... to everyone? 

Give in to the impulse to overload on holiday crafts projects, and you're likely to find yourself drowning in UFOs: Un-Finished Objects. Try these ideas to keep your holiday crafting within bounds--and budget and timeframe, too.

Print a Christmas holiday budget

Santa Savings: Make a Holiday Budget For a Debt-Free Christmas

For many families, Christmas comes not once a year, but lingers on for months! Credit card bills arrive shortly after season’s end, not to be paid off until the following summer. Nearly two-thirds of American families don't know the true cost of their own Christmas celebration--and if they did, they'd be shocked. That much ... for a single day?

Fight the seasonal spending spree with the financial tool of choice: a Christmas budget. Try these ideas to create--and keep!--a holiday budget to save money on Christmas.

Focus the celebration on your own values

Before The Season: Focus on Holiday Values

What do you really want for Christmas? Our ideas may differ in the details, but most of us want much the same thing: a seasonal celebration focused on faith, family and friends. 

We want the excitement of the season without the disruption that too often comes with it. We want to draw closer to those around us, not to be thrust apart by hectic schedules. We want to enjoy as well as to prepare, and to keep the Christmas season in a manner that is joyous and spiritually centered. 

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:

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.