Holiday Mistakes

What are 6 common mistakes to avoid this holiday season? Could your New Year perhaps be less stressful?


Years ago, as young parents we often found ourselves overly-stressed during the holiday season. Most months of the year, we were barely able to pay our bills and feed our kids. The arrival of the holiday season’s additional money expenses and time expectations were not always a welcome thing for us.

Holiday expenses and stresses often robbed us of the joy we hoped for during this time of year. Shopping, traveling and parties were sometimes a burden on our already thin finances. And we sometimes found that our calendar was over-committed.

The time of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve should be a joyous one. But we learned that the more strain you put on yourself, your family and your wallet, the less likely the time will be joyful.

Let me challenge YOU to control your money and time this year. Be proactive instead of reactive in managing this time of year.


Here are 6 Common Mistakes to Avoid This Holiday Season:

Make a spending plan

  • Make a list of who you want to buy gifts for, and how much you want to spend.
  • Do this at home, on paper, BEFORE you go shopping.
  • Don’t do this in the mall parking lot or only in your head.

Use a calendar

  • Decide rationally what parties you plan to attend
  • Remember the cost of food, gifts, etc. associated with each event
  • Say “no” to events that stress your time or money too much
  • Be reasonable about what your schedule can actually handle

Shop during less crowded times

  • Maybe a Tuesday or Wednesday morning?
  • Less traffic means less stress
  • Smaller crowds means spending less time

Don’t compare YOUR holiday preparations with those you see online

  • Those who mean the most to you are spending time with you, NOT your decorations.
  • Those who share your meals don’t need to hear apologies about how what you prepared doesn’t look like the picture you saw.

Put your family first

  • If money is stretched, eliminate or reduce gifts to friends
  • If time is tight, give yourself to non-family members AFTER the holiday season passes

Be thoughtful about food

  • Starting the New Year with less-tight pants would a be good thing
  • Maybe eating one plate full is enough?
  • Would 1 or 2 cookies be better than a handful?
  • What if you ate a single desert rather than several?
  • More vegetables / less starches and sugars?


As young parents, the MOST stressful part of the holidays for us was in deciding WHO to buy gifts for, and HOW MUCH to spend on each person.

Dave Ramsey says:

“Most of us don’t know where the middle ground is when it comes to Christmas gift giving. It’s either buy for all or buy for none (except immediate family, of course).

“To clear things up, we’ve mapped out a practical and somewhat silly guide to navigating this confusing world. Remember, what you buy and how much you spend are up to you—just stay on budget!”

Dave Ramsey’s “Holiday Gift Giving Guide” is a decision-making flow chart to help you make rational gift-buying decisions. You can get your own copy here.


So, would your New Year be less stressful if you made better decisions ahead of time?

What if you could avoid 6 common mistakes this holiday season?

I hope that you and your family find these 6 Common Mistakes to Avoid This Holiday Season helpful!


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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