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Writing this post particularly really hits home for me. While I love, love, love the holiday’s they are particularly very hard for me. As most of you guys know, my parents are divorced, so I have always had to split the Holidays between them my entire life. Now with Colton in the picture for the past 5+ years, I now have his family in the mixture.
So, I have to split every Holiday with My Dad and Sister (Hannah J), then with my Mom, then with my Mom’s side of the family, then with my Step Dad’s side of the family, then Colton’s whole side of the family then his immediate side of the family. The hard part is that deep down, each group wants our undivided attention. Which I would love to give, but it’s literally impossible. Loved one’s feelings get hurt each year, and it’s just a really hard time.
Then you have the gift giving for everyone. I mean holy guacamole does it add up when you have large families like we do! And this is totally not a complaint, (I’ve got more love than I can handle!) it’s just a reality. It’s the Holiday’s and you want to please everyone. While we have not mastered this time of year and have made more mistakes then I can think of, I do like to think we have learned from our mistakes and continue to learn every year.
Be Upfront & Don’t Over Commit
The Holiday’s are hard and you never want to hurt someone’s feelings. Especially if you are like me and try to please everyone. Although the worst thing you can do is not be upfront and tell everyone your plans / the truth from the beginning. This is coming from personal experience.
One Christmas, I over committed big time. I was having Christmas morning with Colton’s family, but also told my Dad I would be doing Christmas with him. I was so scared of hurting everyone’s feelings, I ended up trying to make them both work and it ended horribly. I awkwardly left Colton’s family early (like during gifts) then got to my Dad’s two hours later than I told him and it was a disaster. My thought process came from a good place, but it wasn’t executed very well. I have now learned that it’s best to be upfront and pray everyone understands.
Start Early & Go In With A Strategy in Regards to Christmas Shopping
Start your Christmas shopping early this year. Get ahead of the game and avoid shopping at the last minute. Not only are most things sold out by Christmas Eve, but you’ll also find yourself spending more money because the expensive items are all that will be left. Start thinking about what you want to gift people, now so that you are not scrambling at the last minute. You want to avoid overspending and over buying. You’ll notice above on my menu bar I already started my Christmas Shop! I’ll be updating those sections all season long.
First things first, I write out on my Calender when every Holiday event is, then I go over it with Colton and find what we can and cannot make it to. Then, when it comes to gifts, I write out exactly who I am buying for, what parties require what presents, my budget for each person and then I write out a few gift ideas. I research online for gift guides (mine are coming soon!), which are always really helpful and take some of the stress away.
Make a Budget
So, so important! As I mentioned above, start by making a list of everyone you need to buy a gift for. Set a realistic budget and write out how much you can spend on each person. It doesn’t have to be an exact amount, but get a good idea. Going into the Holiday’s with a set budget list will help you from overspending and will keep you in line.
If you’re my age and a decently new graduate, then you probably don’t have the funds to give the Christmas presents you might want too. Colton and I’s first Christmas, we went way out of the way and bought loved ones gifts way out of our budget because we didn’t want to disappoint anyone. Especially when it came to each other. At the end of the day though, it was a terrible idea on both of our ends and put us in quite a bind. My advice is to do what you can. Give what you can. If you’re upset you cannot give an expensive gift like you would like, then go with sentimental. Sentimental gifts always win over it all.
I live very close to Houston’s Galleria and let me tell you, that place is a madhouse come Christmas time. An absolute disaster. Last year, I swore to not step foot in there during Christmas time lol. While I prefer online shopping as a way to avoid crowds, the real reason shopping online is so great, is because it will keep you from impulse buying. I don’t know about you guys, but if I walk into the mall to go Christmas shopping, even if I have a list, I will impulse buy. I’ll walk by the men’s department and go “Omg, that shirt would look awesome on Colton!“, or I’ll walk by the beauty department and think “Omg Hannah needs this!!“. Then $400 later I broke my budget.
Shopping online helps me stay organized, avoid crowds and there are always more in stock items online than in stores anyways!
Aka – To: You, From: Us. This year, I’m pretty sure Colton and I are doing all of our gifts from “The Both Of Us“. Reason being, it will flat out save time, stress and money. That’s just the truth.
In the past, let’s say I bought someone a really awesome gift and put it was from me. Even though Colton had already bought a gift, when he then saw mine, he felt bad about his gift. So what did he do? He went out and bought another gift. Then I see that he bought “so and so” two gifts and I only bought one, so I go out and gift another gift. It’s a never-ending cycle ya’ll. While this little story hypothetical, it has definitely happened before on more than one occasion.
Split a gift between friends and siblings too! It doesn’t have to be a significant other!
White Elephant or Secret Santa
If everyone in your group is over buying everyone gifts, suggest doing a Secret Santa or a White Elephant! We started doing this at a few family parties and it is honestly so fun! There is usually a budget of like $30, you don’t have to buy everyone a gift and making it into a game is fun for everyone!
Give Yourself A Break
I mean, it is the Holidays for goodness sake! It is supposed to be a joyous time. Not a stressful time. Do what you can, be upfront, set a budget, make a list and hope for the best!
On my top menu bar, you will notice a new tab that says “Christmas Shop“! I will be updating these pages all season long and will add in a “Gift Guide” tab as soon as I start my gift guides!
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Fashion Obsessed. Fitness Thrillest. Dog Lover. Self Proclaimed Interior Designer. Wine Enthusiast. Foodie. Marketing Coordinator.