Slow Down the Joy

Savings Angel

This article, entitled "Slow Down the Joy," comes from

Does the rapid-fire destruction of wrapping paper steal your Christmas joy each year? After all the love you put into buying the perfect gifts, carefully wrapping them, secretly stowing them away… You want to see each item opened; to experience that first split second of recognition. You hope for a pleasant squeal, a triumphant shout, a happy scream. And you want to capture them to remember year after year. If this sounds like a beautiful dream, try something new:

  1. Take turns and each open only one gift at a time. This takes a while, but is worth it. You will actually see what each person got. If little ones getting restless is a concern – let them open a toy first. Take a few minutes to get it out of the package and give it to them to play with while others take their turns.
  2. Enforce the camera rule. Place a special mark on gifts you wants pics of the receiver opening – and insist that those items are opened only when the camera is ready and aimed. That way, you won’t miss that spectacular shot you dreamed of when you selected the gift.
  3. Break it up. If your family gives both stockings and under-the-tree presents – don’t do them back to back. Open stockings and then take a break for a family breakfast. Come back afterward to enjoy the ‘bigger’ presents. (Or, if you can’t wait to get to the tree gifts, do it the other way around.)
  4. Don’t let Grandma breathe down your neck. Okay, that sounds almost rude – but the clock is your enemy in slowing down. Someone is always expecting you by such-and-such a time. If seeing family on Christmas is an important tradition, don’t abandon it. Just change how you handle it: bring special gifts with you – rather than hurrying through them; open ‘smaller’ gifts on Christmas Eve; even discuss pushing your traditional get-together time to later in the day. (Chances are, others feel the same rush and will be relieved you suggested a change.)
  5. Get right to the good stuff. The tendency is to ‘save the best for last’ – but in gift-giving, this is counter-productive. Every good boy and girl knows their most-hoped-for package size and shape – and they are eying it the whole time. If you keep insisting other gifts get opened first, they may scarcely notice them. Their heart is elsewhere. So go right to the one they want – and save the others for later in the day. Then, while they are whooping it up with their new fav thing – you can relax and savor the morning.

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Josh Elledge is chief executive "Angel" of, 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 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. is now growing rapidly throughout the country. You can watch a short video at that will explain more information about how to cut your own grocery bill in half with the help of!


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