There’s nothing in the world quite like the look of joy you get when your loved ones open the perfect pressie. Christmas truly is a wonderful time. 

If the stress of gift giving is bringing you down, here are a few things you can do to calm your Christmas nerves and let you refocus on the joy of the season. (Please note: Christmas cocktails, while delightful, are not a suggested method for dealing with holiday stress.)

Set a budget

Before you get into the swing of the season and start hunting for the perfect gift for everyone on your list, it might be good to take a step back and look at the total amount you’re willing to spend during the entire holiday period. 

Things to watch for: 

  • Don’t set a budget too tight. You might have good intentions to save money, however unrealistic expectations can return that stress that you’re trying to get rid of in the first place! 
  • While gifts are usually the biggest and most obvious expense, little costs, like travel, charitable donations and other activities, can quickly add up. 

The sooner you set yourself a budget and separate out your holiday funds, the easier it’ll be to keep track of where your money is going. 

Start new traditions with your family

Christmas doesn’t have to be about how much you spend, rather the time you spend together. The memories you build together will last longer than any gift.

Joining your friends and neighbours at a Christmas event, like your local carols concert, is another great way to spend time with your loved ones – and it doesn’t cost a thing. 

Baking Christmas treats is a great way to spend time with your loved ones. Best of all, in the end you’re left with delicious snacks to dig into. Also, I’m told that the calories from treats that are baked with love don’t count! (That last bit might not be completely accurate.)

Give the gift of goodness

Doing things for others is incredibly rewarding. Doing it with your family can help bring all of you closer together. 

Rather than getting into a present-buying frenzy, consider purchasing gifts for anonymous recipients, like kids who are in need. 

Picking out an outfit and toys to donate can be a great bonding experience and help your kids focus on service and giving, rather than merely receiving. You can find Wishing Trees at most shopping centres across the country.

Planning for your future needs

Get a jump on your plans for the holidays to help reduce the stress and strain, letting you focus on the things that matter most during this blessed season. Having a chat with a financial adviser can help you take a holistic look at making the most of your money.