Q of the Week : How do you keep your holidays sane?

I hope you’re all well and recovered from Thanksgiving if it was on your calendar last week! It officially starts the true madness that is the Holiday Season here in the U.S., though many shops had already started playing holiday-themed music before that.  I swear it creeps earlier and earlier every year! It’s such a stressful time for many that we have to talk about it.  Our expectations, our kids expectations, family obligations, budget strains, hospitality and/or travel issues, and the tendency to feel like we’re on a treadmill that will spit us out into the dark days of January, exhausted and in debt.  Am I a bit scrooge-ish today?!  Perhaps, but I know it’s not all sunshine and roses for all as we close out the year, and I’d love to know how you keep it fun, but not overwhelming. 

Personally, I refuse to participate in the mad shopping of “Black Friday”, budget or no budget.  I just can’t bear the crowds, lines, and chaos at all.  Cyber Monday?  If I can get a great deal from the comfort of my bedroom, then I might consider it.  I did take advantage of one thing, which got my boys their own official savings accounts, rather than a subaccount on ours.  The whole shopping thing doesn’t contribute to my sanity though, it just adds stress.  Thankfully our families aren’t big on gift exchanges, so we only have to make or buy a few things! 

I love the getting-together part of this time of year, but we don’t have to do any running around from one house to the next.  We tend to let people come to us rather than travel, and that definitely simplifies things.  We don’t really have traditions either, but seem to reinvent things every year depending on our moods.  I guess overall I try to keep expectations low, because then we can be more impulsive and less scheduled.  It works for us. 

So how do you handle the holidays?  If you love every second and start planning early, or simply wing it at the last second, please let us know your approach! 

To sane holidays …