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Monday, December 28, 2015

Tis the Season to be Busy

We all know how busy the winter holidays can be, especially if you have kids. It seems like even before we had our turkey dinner for Thanksgiving this year, we were getting ready for Christmas. Did you happen to have both Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations up at the same time? We did! At least we didn't put up the tree before Thanksgiving, we waited. I did see a lot of trees up and even heard Christmas music the week of Thanksgiving.

It felt like the holidays collided this year. Maybe it's because Thanksgiving fell closer to December this year?  I am not sure.

Now the rush is on to buy presents, send out Christmas cards, make cookies, attend holiday parties and see our children in their school holiday concerts.

Have you felt the rush yet? I did on Black Friday. My two daughters and I went shopping to see if we could find any deals and buy a few presents. The first mall we went to was actually not too crowded. I even made a comment to the girls that this year Black Friday shopping wasn't so bad. We got a front row parking spot. The girls had their photo taken with Santa and we didn't have to wait in line. (Money Saving Tip: Bass Pro Shop takes free photos with Santa.)

We decided to leave the mall we were at and try the outlet mall. This is when we saw the madness up close. We couldn't even park it was so crowded. As we left, I decided I was not going to be a part this holiday craziness.

I want to enjoy the holidays. I don't want to be so exhausted and miss having fun and making memories with my family. I want to make life more simple. How about you?

Here are some ideas to make the holidays more enjoyable and stress free.

-Don't put up a ton of decorations this year, be selective. It will cut down on the time you spend taking down the decorations.
-Have fun with your kids making Christmas gifts. Homemade gifts are the best and Pinterest has tons of ideas. You will also save money.
-Pick and choose a few parties to go to, rather than saying yes to every party.
-If you and your kids love making cookies, give the cookies as gifts to family and friends. You can buy the ready-made dough to make it even easier.
-Take the kids for a drive or walk to look at lights. Several neighborhoods like Lakes Parks Estate in Seminole, Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo and local recreation centers have beautiful decorations and lights on display. The cost is usually a donation.
-Take time as a family to roast marshmallows, have hot chocolate and sing Christmas carols.

-Spend time helping others as a family, like feeding the homeless.

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