Here we are in the "holiday season" again. It seems like Christmas ads started even earlier this year, but you can't really blame them. With a weak economy, retailers need sales, so the sooner you start shopping, the more you'll shop... at least that's the theory. Kiind of like keeping you in a store longer, and that's been proven. The longer you stay in a store, even if it's looking for something, the more you will probably spend.
Although it's always been a tug of war between retailers and consumers, the game is becoming more serious as each side fights for financial survival. Throw up the defense, especially if you're on a tight Christmas budget
this year. Remember, though, that retailers are not your enemy. If they disappear, you'll wish they were still around! It's a balancing act, for sure.
Of course, there are lots of ways to celebrate Christmas without spending a lot of money. Homemade gifts still rule and they can be done for much less than buying them, but beware. A hand made gift can cost you quite a bit, too. If you're thinking of doing something along that line, count your cost first. Use what you might have on hand or can get inexpensively if you can.
If you really are thinking of Christmas, Dollar Stretcher has a full page of Christmas articles. Inexpensive gifts, decorating tips, entertaining ideas... bookmark the page so you can refer to it throughout the season.
Approach the holidays with an attitude of anticipation and fun and never allow them to overcome you with anxiety and stress. That makes no sense at all. If you tend to stress about what to give or how to entertain or keeping your calendar under control, step back, take a deep breath and think: "It doesn't matter if I don't do everything perfectly or if I don't do everything at all, or if I only do a few things." Then choose what's really important to you and concentrate on those things. It's a holiday, remember? Not a time of angst, but a time of fun and enjoyment. It's up to you to make it so.