Dianne shares how shopping will always be an important part of the holiday season, but this year, she’ll help you learn to do it in a relaxed and happy way.
By Guest Author Dianne Daily
If your holiday season revolves around being first in the sales and checkout lines, you’re doing it all wrong. Tone down the Christmas craziness this year and focus instead on the things that are really important – family, friends, your higher power and your ability to remain grateful. Shopping will always be an important part of the holiday season but this year, learn to do it in a relaxed and happy way. Make this holiday season count more than any of the others that came before by practicing gratitude for all that is right and well with your world.
The Christmas season inevitably brings with it grumpy consumers. Don’t be one of them. Plan your shopping trips around off-peak hours, and make sure you’re well-fed and well-rested before heading out. Most importantly, don’t drag the kids along when you know long check-out lines await you. Following these simple rules will allow you to retain your calm if the people in line behind you choose to resort to preschool behavior. Remember to respect your cashier, give her a smile and a kind word when it’s your turn to check out. It’s a good bet that as rough as your day has been, hers has likely been worse. Pay it forward when you shop this year – using more than just money.
Add in Handmade Treasures
Mix it up this year when it comes to gifting. Along with those deals too good to pass up at your local retailer, make a few customized handmade gifts for the most important people in your life.
- Quilted table runners and wall hangings
- Needlepoint samplers
- Hand-painted ornaments
- Simple, wooden tool and kitchen caddies
These are all creative projects that ask more of your time than your money. If you lack sewing or woodworking skills, work with what you have. Bake, cook or snow-shovel your way into your neighbor’s heart this holiday season. Afterward, head off to the nearest home store to find pretty tins and containers to hold your handmade offerings.
Forego the Glitz
Leave the shiny, glittering baubles in the attic this year, and decorate your tree with love instead. Take the kids on a winter scavenger hunt for pinecones and berries to double as ornaments. Shop for simple, natural-looking decor made from burlap and raffia. Enlist the company of family and friends as you shop for your holiday ornaments this year. The time you spend together laughing and shopping makes waiting in the checkout line that much more enjoyable.
Shop Online When You Can
While stores open earlier and earlier as the holidays near, take time to replace old, stressful traditions with new ones that eliminate the stress of the holiday hysteria. Do the bulk of your shopping during off-peak hours. Almost every retailer you frequent offers online shopping. If you really must have that one hard-to-score item, do a little online shopping late at night, sign up for an email reminder to alert you when it becomes available and have it delivered right to your door. The sanity you save might be your own.
Tone Down Your Holiday Table
Use Grandma’s beautiful china as your place setting this year, and beef it up with solid-colored dinnerware from your favorite home store. Visit stores like Macy’s online to find individual pieces of casual china that coordinate with what you already own, and build your table-scape around it. Add real evergreen boughs, pinecones and berry stems to your centerpiece, and use a simple table cover crafted from burlap, homespun or unbleached muslin and three-to-five pretty pillar candles grouped together in a bowl of white sand.
Let Simplicity Reign
Make time to honor your higher power, treat yourself kindly and practice being grateful every day throughout this holiday season. Keep your Thanksgiving and Christmas simple affairs this year and they might very well be the best celebrations your clan has ever experienced.
Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life — Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.TM Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.
What have you accepted in your life that took time, physically or mentally?
I recently lost about 50 pounds and did so through diet, exercise and dedication. It was a struggle, but I am very proud of myself .
What do you appreciate about yourself and within your life?
I appreciate my family, my husband, and good friends.
What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What goals do you still have?
Giving birth to my beautiful 3 year old daughter. My goal is to be the most inspirational mother I can be to my children.
Husband, daughter, life!