This article, entitled "Put the Fun Back in Holiday Preparations," comes from SavingsAngel.com.
Are you a “Christmas is magical” or a “Christmas is stressful” person? Maybe a little of both? Sharing the load with friends and family can help – adding fun and saving money to boot!
(1) Tag-team or trade childcare to fit in shopping – Let’s face it, going gift shopping with kids is nearly impossible. So set up a date to go with friends, and trade off who is entertaining the kids, and who is snagging bargains. Or swap nights – one watches all the kids while the other shops, then switch places another time. You’ll save on paying a babysitter, and everyone in the family will have time with friends.
(2) Have a wrapping party – Not that we need another reason to get together – but any excuse to get something accomplished and laugh is welcome this stressful time of year. Everyone brings snacks and presents they need to wrap. Then you divide up bringing the paper, ribbons, tape, gift bags… and, share and share alike; the wrapping supplies, food, and amusing anecdotes. This saves money on wrapping supplies, and quite possibly, hours of post-holiday stress therapy.
(3) Share cleaning chores – Admit it, normally you’re running the vacuum and scrubbing the loo 15 minutes before everyone arrives, aren’t you? Want to know a secret? You’re not the only one. Eliminate tense last minute chores by planning a cleaning day with a friend a day or two before. You can share chores at each person’s house so everyone gets a shiny, clean abode and no one has to pay a cleaning service. Plus, you’ll accomplish much more together, and have a lot more fun taking care of those less-than-loveable chores.
(4) Don’t go it completely alone – Unless you absolutely adore doing everything as a party host(ess), share the joy of, well, sharing. Doing everything yourself is a strain on both your finances and your holiday joy. So if someone offers to bring a dish to pass, gratefully accept; if someone offers to have the party at their house, take them up on it; if someone offers to clean your home so you can host, wake up – you’re probably dreaming…
(5) Forget perfection – If you skim-read every other tip, slow down and really read this one: The holidays are a time to be together with friends and family. It’s easy to let the busyness of the season, and a desire to have everything be perfect, overtake your fun. Think back to your best Christmases – do you recall perfectly wrapped presents, under an impeccable tree, in an immaculate house? Unless your mother was Martha Stewart, probably not. More likely you remember the anticipation of time together, the thrill of gift secrets, the smiles, and the faces gathered around tables and trees… make some more of those memories this year. They’re free.
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Josh Elledge is chief executive "Angel" of SavingsAngel.com, a website that teaches consumers how to save money through a free money savings video eCourse and podcast. SavingsAngel also provides hundreds of 50% off or better deals each week to members by matching local grocery and drug store sales with its free database of over 5,000 accessible coupons. A husband and father of three, he now appears each week on television, in eight newspapers, and a number of radio stations across the country teaching families how to cut their grocery bill in half using the Internet. Elledge created the technology found on SavingsAngel.com through the need to save his own family’s money. Successfully able to cut his own grocery bill from $600 a month to less than $300 a month, his message has reached hundreds of thousands of families. SavingsAngel.com is now growing rapidly throughout the country. You can watch a short video at SavingsAngel.com that will explain more information about how to cut your own grocery bill in half with the help of SavingsAngel.com!