How to Have a Merry but Stress Less Christmas

I know this is a bit late. But I know they are some people out there that start Christmas shopping right after Christmas, for the sales, and whatever else. Shopping is an addiction. I hope this helps other have a more cheerful Christmas with less stress, and more money in your pockets. These ideas can be applied to birthday presents, too.

Everyone knows how stressful Christmas can be. And yet, everyone we swear next year will be different, it will be less stressful. But the cycle just continues and things become more extravagant than the year prior.

If you are sort of in a holidaze from the stress, or from the mess of Christmas. I have solutions for you!

Cut Back on Gift Giving

Instead of going into thousands of dollars in debt, like some do. But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can have a family discussion via Zoom, or Skype, depending on your restrictions. What I am trying to do is keep it simple as possible, but still enjoyable for others.

Buy them the following;

  • Something they want
  • Something they need
  • Something to wear
  • Something to read

That way you just only need to buy four things for everyone, instead of your typical pile of gifts. This is a good solution if you are looking for ways to cut back on buying some many presents for everyone.

Or another solution is to have everyone pitch in money for one big present.

Cut Back On Presents

Or perhaps you want to cut back on presents completely. That way you just enjoy each other’s company. Perhaps it has become too much hauling all of these presents to peoples’ houses. Or maybe you just don’t want to buy people actual presents, and objects. Then perhaps an idea for you would be to give people an experience. I hope things are different next year, where more things are more available for us to do.

Some ideas of experiences are,

  • Concert tickets
  • Movie/Plays/Stand up comedy, etc.
  • Spa Outing
  • Wine tasting (depending on the age of the recipient)
  • Other festivals if they are too young, or don’t drink

Give Others Your Time

Another solution is to give others your time, it’s free!

Perhaps you can offer a sibling, or a friend, or a neighbour a night off from their kids, so they can enjoy a night out. Or perhaps you know how to cook this delicious meal, you can teach someone else to make it. Or you know how to crochet, or knit, you can always offer to teach someone else how to do that.

By cutting back on giving out presents you don’t have to wrap any presents, which is a plus, too. Less work to do. And it also helps the environment, since most places don’t allow wrapping paper to be recycled, so all of that just ends up in a landfill. If you are still handing out gifts, perhaps you can use dish clothes, or scarves, or a blanket, instead.

Secret Santa

Secret Santa is when you put names in a hat, and you secretly place names of everyone in the group. Each person pulls out a name from the hat. That is who they are supposed to shop for. You would have a discussed budget, of how much money you want to spend, and you have to stay under that amount. You can discuss some things you would like to receive for Christmas, and your Secret Santa will buy you some of those things for you.

Don’t be a Michael Scott

I don’t know how many of you watch The Office, but there was this one Christmas episode, where they did Secret Santa, they had a $20 limit. Michael bought a $400 iPod, and got mad because Phyllis was Michael’s Secret Santa, and she knitted him an oven mitt. Please don’t be that guy that overspends on Christmas, especially when you know this person doesn’t have a lot of money. You don’t want the other person to feel bad that you didn’t get as many presents as much as you had given them.

Respect Their Wishes

Sometimes people say they don’t want any gifts. Please know they really mean no gifts. Some people realize they are already happy with everything they already have, and would not have someone go out and spend money on them. There is no secret language to “No gifts”, that isn’t their way to trick you, and making you wonder if they actually mean. Or if it means they just “don’t know yet”. If someone tells you no gifts, please honour their wish.

Shoe Box Ideas

I just heard of this idea not too long ago. You can fill a shoe box, filled with envelopes with different gift cards to different occasions for each month. You can only open an envelope on the first day of the month, and you make plans sometime throughout the month to do that activity. This works great for children, because they get the activity and the anticipation of not knowing which adventure they will be partaking in. I think that is an amazing idea. And if you can’t afford to buy all of the gift cards at once, you can just write a letter and letting them about each activity. That way you just have to budget this in once a month, instead of having to come up with x amount of money before Christmas.

Or another idea is that you can ask other people for money, or ask for mini hygiene products, and perhaps a backpack they no longer use (but it’s still in good condition). You can fill up a backpack with toothbrushes, toothpaste, money, shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, etc. You can give this to a homeless person, or to a shelter. I suggest using the traveler size of things, so it is easier for them to carry around, and you can fit more stuff in the bag.

Christmas doesn’t have to cost a fortune to be memorable. Christmas is about helping others, spread love, and happiness. We should begin to refrain ourselves from the commercialization, that we have suddenly allowed to be the norm of Christmas.

Advent Calendar of Kindness 2020 Day 7

I would love for Christmas to be more about the joy of being in everyone’s presence, than by making Christmas too commercialized like it has been over the past years. Yeah, it’s cool to receive presents, but that isn’t what Christmas should be about. We shouldn’t have to go in debt to show someone how much we love them.

I have thought of an Advent Calendar filled with challenges that will help spread joy and love, without having to go in debt. I hope these challenges help others find happiness.

Today’s challenge is to tell someone a joke. It’s so much fun to make someone laugh. Although, please make sure you aren’t laughing at anyone’s expense.

My joke is…

What do you call a pair of shoes made from bananas?
A: Slippers

A bonus joke…

What did the ocean say to the shore?
A: Nothing, it just waved.

I would love to hear your jokes in the comments! 🙂

Statement of Net Worth

Hi there! As promised in my July Preview, I did say I would plan on discussing finances.

Finances can be complicated for some people, and that’s okay, because there is a lot of resources that can you further understand the terminology, and discover ways to save more money.

Finances is definitely the top three things that most couples argue about the majority of the time. But just know that everything has a solution.

To understand your net worth, you must do some calculations.

Step 1. Calculate what you own

This includes;

Cash in your bank account(s)
RRSPs, or a 401K
Value of your house
And or any other property you may own
Book value of your car

Add everything up to get a total of what you own

Step 2. Calculate what you own

This includes;

Credit cards
Line of credit
Student loans
Vechile loans
Any other loans
Overdraft accounts
Money you owe to family and friends
Mortgage(s)

Add everything up to get a total of what you owe.

3. Add the two categories up

So say for example you own $5,000, and what you owe $3,600, your net worth is $1400.

5000 – 3600 = 1,400

If you ended up with a positive number, that means you own more than you owe. If you ended up with a negative number, it means that you owe more than you own. And that’s okay, because there are ways to cut back on debt. And please know that things can always get better from here. Do not fret, instead start paying off your debt.

Resolutions Check In

Hey everyone! I made a list of all the goals I hope to achieve for my 27th birthday. Since my 26th birthday was 26 days ago, I thought this would be the perfect day to reflect on my goals.

Here’s a list of my goals…

  1. Exercise, yoga, meditate every day
  2. Read for at least 30 minutes a day
  3. Finish writing my book by my 27th birthday
  4. Volunteer
  5. Turn my passion into a career
  6. Don’t fall behind with medical exams and medical health
  7. Travel to two new places
  8. Read at least 52 books
  9. Journal every night
  10. Purge my things for once and for all
  11. Find a new place to live with my boyfriend
  12. Save $10,000 in a year (with help from my boyfriend)
  13. Try a new recipe once a week
  14. Pay off all of my debt
  15. To keep a day planner and keep up with deadlines and goals
  16. Get up early
  17. Get into the routine of meal prepping again
  18. Go to bed at a decent time
  19. Make a budget and actually stick to it
  20. Have a month no spend on take out or any unnecessary shopping
  21. Give myself something relaxing and rewarding (massage, facial, pedicure and manicure).
  22. Save at least 10% of my earnings
  23. Watch less TV
  24. Donate more to others
  25. Drink more water
  26. Start a new tradition with my boyfriend
  1. Yoga and meditation didn’t happen right away, but it’s slowly becoming a habit. I am feeling much better since I have started my day with those two habits.
  2. This one has been the easiest one to get into the habit of. It has been helping me read a lot of my books.
  3. I haven’t written much of my book, but I have been planning on an idea, and thinking of what can happen next. There is still time to complete this goal.
  4. Unfortunately, because of Covid-19, there isn’t many if any opportunities around, so this is one that I haven’t been able to do.
  5. My absolute goal is to be my own boss and to not have to work for someone by working towards their goal. I would like to become a full time blogger. I am still in the research process of gathering information for myself and trying to think of the next steps to move forward with my goals.
  6. This one is still a work in progress, but I have been heading in the right direction.
  7. Where I am living there are still travelling restrictions, so unfortunately this one will have to wait. But I have decided on wanting to travel to Montreal, Quebec, Canada. I’ll let my boyfriend brainstorm some places we can travel to. Although this year we are focusing on paying off our debts, so we won’t be travelling anywhere too far.
  8. I have been on par with this goal since I have read four books already. My goal is to read one book a week.
  9. To be honest, aside from blogging, I haven’t written in my journal at all. I am going to add this in my bedtime routine.
  10. I have started a new challenge for myself which is to get rid of one item a day. And once I gain more confidence, I can purge even more. Perhaps I can purge more things a day.
  11. My boyfriend and I have discussed that we would like to celebrate my 27th goal in our own place. Although we haven’t narrowed it to a location yet, nor discussed finances or a budget for our new place. That will come in due time.
  12. Saving $10,000 is going to be the most challenging but exciting goal so far. I know that a portion of that will be for our emergency fund, but the remaining portion will be for our travelling fund and new apartment fund — which is really exciting.
  13. I think I may have to modify for trying a new recipe every two weeks.
  14. This way will come in due time. My boyfriend and I are in the process of making and sticking to a budget. So we have been setting aside some money every time to pay down our debts.
  15. At the moment, there isn’t much happening, appointments or anything along those lines at the moment, but I have been picking up with daily and weekly routines.
  16. I am still learning to get up early, although as of lately things are getting easier.
  17. I have been getting back into routine of meal prepping more. I enjoy making crock pot recipes.
  18. I prefer to go to bed early, but some nights my boyfriend works late so some days it’s hard to go to bed at a decent time.
  19. I have been putting in the final touches of our budget.
  20. I was planning on doing this in July. We can still buy food, but we can’t buy any material items or wants.
  21. I haven’t been wanting to go a nail salon right now so I haven’t gotten a chance to spoil myself right now, but my boyfriend has been given me foot rubs. So that’s always nice.
  22. This is one of the goals we have been doing.
  23. Over the weekend, I spent time rearranging our room so now it’s more spacious. That was nice to not spend time watching TV.
  24. I am going to be purging and donating my clothes. I also plan on making donations to others for Christmas.
  25. I have been drinking a lot of tea, instead of water. But I try to do this more, since water is important.
  26. The new tradition with my boyfriend, I am still thinking of something cool to do. So far, I thought we can stock up on our basic necessities (toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, laundry detergent and soaps) for the year in December, instead of having to go out when we’re running out of things. Last December I went a bit crazy with this one sale of shower gels, and I just liked that feeling of being stocked up. I hate running out of things.

Overall, I feel like I am doing a good job with keeping up with resolutions and goals. Some of these have been challenging, other ones are fairly easy. I am proud with all that I have accomplished so far.

26 Goals

  1. Exercise, yoga, meditate every day
  2. Read for at least 30 minutes a day
  3. Finish writing my book by my 27th birthday
  4. Volunteer
  5. Turn my passion into a career
  6. Don’t fall behind with medical exams and medical health
  7. Travel to two new places
  8. Read at least 52 books
  9. Journal every night
  10. Purge my things for once and for all
  11. Find a new place to live with my boyfriend
  12. Save $10,000 in a year (with help from my boyfriend)
  13. Try a new recipe once a week
  14. Pay off all of my debt
  15. To keep a day planner and keep up with deadlines and goals
  16. Get up early
  17. Get into the routine of meal prepping again
  18. Go to bed at a decent time
  19. Make a budget and actually stick to it
  20. Have a month no spend on take out or any unnecessary shopping
  21. Give myself something relaxing and rewarding (massage, facial, pedicure and manicure).
  22. Save at least 10% of my earnings
  23. Watch less TV
  24. Donate more to others
  25. Drink more water
  26. Start a new tradition with my boyfriend