Make the holidays about the experience, not the stuff!


The holidays always seem to fly by, as many people are occupied with shopping, cooking, baking and travelling. A lot of time is spent planning and completing tasks to enjoy the holidays, but many of us end up not enjoying the holidays because of this. Make this holiday season one that you will actually enjoy by eliminating some of the tasks that normally add a lot of stress.

One of the biggest costs of stress during this time is gift giving – a lot of time (and money) is spent buying gifts, sometimes for many people! Instead, talk with your family, friends, and co-workers and come up with an alternate gift giving solution that everyone can participate in.

For example, consider doing a draw for “Secret Santa” and set a dollar limit that works for every person’s budget. While this may not be the best option for children, this idea works great for adults. There are even apps available that will randomly match people (like this one) that will make sure no one draws their own name, and even lets people upload a list of possible gift ideas. Hosting a “Secret Santa” gift exchange will save everyone money and time, as they won’t have to go and buy as many gifts as they normally would.

Alternatively, you could host a gift exchange where everyone buys one generic present, and people can exchange or steal gifts until everyone has one item. Not only does it also save you from buying more gifts, it’s also a fun activity to enjoy with family and friends. With less time spent shopping, wrapping presents, and delivering gifts, you will be able to spend more time experiencing the holiday season.

While giving and receiving gifts is fun, they are not as valuable as spending time with family and friends. Careful planning and shopping in advance may help reduce some of your stress, but you’ll be even more relaxed when you can completely eliminate one of the many tasks you plan to do this month. The holidays should be about the experience, not just the gifts or items that you give and receive!