How To Make Christmas Gift Giving Less Stressful And More Joyful – Evie Magazine

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The act of giving gifts at Christmastime should never be tainted by stress, so here are some tips on how to avoid that killjoy. 
Start thinking about giving now as opposed to putting shopping off until the week before Christmas. Create a list of your loved ones who you'll be getting gifts for this year and jot down some ideas of what they would appreciate. 
Not everything needs to be store-bought. In fact, some of the most thoughtful gifts are the ones that have been created through a labor of love. Consider your talents and hobbies. If you’re an avid baker, put together tins of your famous cookies to give to friends and neighbors. If you have a knack for writing, write your husband a sentimental poem. If you’re artistic, paint a piece that your mom can hang in her living room. You get the idea.
It’s true: The holidays can get expensive. To alleviate stress in the financial realm, make a budget and stick to it. Allot funds specifically for gifts in the months of November and December, and figure out approximately how much you can spend on each gift. And, at the end of the day, don’t sweat it too much. The point of giving is that it involves sacrifice – of time, talent, and treasure. Let that be a point of joy for you!
Do you need to go all out and gift everyone the most unique item ever? Absolutely not! It truly is the thought that counts. So don’t be afraid to give your dad another book or your friend just a cute sweater. If they’ll appreciate it, who cares if it’s not groundbreakingly quirky and uncommon? 
You don’t have to give everyone something purchased and tied with a bow. Giving of your time and energy by offering babysitting services to your sister with kids, a delicious meal to your family, or a complete itinerary for a weekend away to your husband is an equally thoughtful way to say “I love you” this season. 
Spend a day (or days) knocking items off your shopping list or crafting or whatever it is that you need to do to get the gifts from your list to under the tree. Make it a date with your gal pals or your spouse. Start the day with brunch and then enjoy searching for or creating the perfect presents! Don’t forget to also devote an afternoon to writing cards and wrapping. Slip on your favorite tacky sweater, turn up the Christmas tunes, and sip some hot chocolate while you do this for added merriment! 
Choose to purchase your gifts from small businesses and/or businesses that support charitable causes as much as possible. That way, you’re extending your giving in a meaningful way. 
If stress starts to creep in, remind yourself of the whole reason for giving: because you cherish and appreciate the ones to whom you’re giving gifts. Keep that love at the forefront, and the stress will quickly dissipate! 
Don’t let consumerist culture get you down this Christmas season. While the materialistic madness promoted by stores can be overwhelming, it doesn’t have to dictate your attitude toward giving. Slow down, plan ahead, and let love be the reason you’re placing presents under the tree. 
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