Try these five easy tips to make next year's holiday season more joyful than Tiny Tim on Christmas morning.
5) Prep for next year.
Get in the habit of post-Christmas and other clearance shopping.
Watch for new-in-package items at garage sales and thrift shops.
Keep the gifts in a tote, and you'll have a head start for next Christmas.
Try it for birthdays and baby showers too.
4) Limit spending.
Set a gift budget and stick with it, even when those mounted singing reindeer heads beckon.
Re-gifting is great, especially if you've received a mounted singing reindeer head.
When you get a potential re-gifting item, tape a note on it.
Include the date and who it's from to keep from giving it back to the original giver.
3) Break Tradition.
If you always cook a feast for your extended family, ask each member to bring along a side-dish instead.
You'll save time and money. Plus it assures your guests of one dish they'll enjoy--their own.
Create new traditions, like taking a special family outing in lieu of gifts. Seriously, how many Xbox games do your children need?
It's OK to say no.
"Sorry, I can't host the ... cook the... head up the ..."
No need to explain why.
A simple, "I'm sorry, I can't." suffices.
You might need to repeat it several times, or threaten them with a mounted singing reindeer head, but it will work.
Focus on the joy of Jesus birth. Let cooking, cleaning, and shopping take a back seat to the great news found in Luke 2:11:
"The Savior--yes, the Messiah, the Lord--has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!"