Ho-ho-hold the holiday overload

Ho-ho-hold the holiday overload
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Is your to-do list already a mile long this holiday season? If so, you might be setting yourself up for serious holiday overload. These simplifying strategies can help you avoid excess on every level—financial, physical and mental—so take a few minutes and trim your list a little.

Give yourself the gift of less, which is actually more
If you say yes to all holiday parties, events, and obligations, you will quickly burn out. Instead, give yourself the gift of doing less and enjoying it more. Be selective about what you agree to, and be sure to block out some time for doing absolutely nothing or doing something that you really want to do.

Refuse to take on holiday debt
Use your creativity to spend less and find ways to enjoy the season—without the holiday debt hangover. This may even mean making a deal with family members to reduce or eliminate gifts. Make this the year you agree to buy only for the kids or draw names instead of purchasing gifts for everyone.

Create new, simpler traditions
If there are things that you “have” to do every holiday season and they bring you more dread than delight, make a change this year to save time, money and sanity! Consider having a “cookie-less exchange” or plan a walk through a local light display with relatives instead of going to an expensive movie. If you have clients who like to be wined and dined, consider having a wine and cheese event at your office instead of a fancy dinner at an expensive restaurant.

Don’t overdo the halls
While decking the halls is a fun tradition, it can take a lot of time, effort and money. Why not keep your décor a little simpler this year and get out only the most meaningful decorations? Decorating a little less elaborately also means you’ll have less to put away later.

Focus on family, friends, and faith this holiday season
No matter what your beliefs are, this time of year is a special one in many cultures. Instead of elaborate parties and presents, hold off on the overwhelm that often takes over the season by spending time on meaningful traditions. Spend time with those who are special to you and set aside a little quiet time for seasonal reflections. You might even use the time to help others who are in need.

Spend time outdoors
Nothing is more calming and enjoyable—especially with friends and family—than getting outside to look at lights or sing a few holiday songs for your neighbors. Plan to get back to nature this season to enjoy the outdoors and remove yourself from the seasonal chaos…even if it’s only for a little while.

Create opportunities for downtime
For every task that you cross off your list, add some time to just enjoy a movie, savor a seasonal snack or play some board games. Invite friends and family to gather around and have a lazy day (or two) in front of the fire.

These are just a few of the ways you can ho-ho hold the holiday overwhelm this season. Use these tips as inspiration to help you stress less and savor more of the holiday spirit this year.

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Karla Dennis, Tax Expert & Business Strategist

As seen in Forbes Magazine, Karla Dennis is an expert tax and business strategist. As an enrolled agent, Karla is licensed to represent taxpayers in all 50 states. She holds a Masters in Taxation and Business Development and is the author of two books, Tax Storm and Against the Odds.

Karla, the founder of consultancy firm Karla Dennis & Associates™, has saved her clients' thousands of dollars and has been featured in various media outlets such as Forbes, MSNBC, KTLA, Yahoo! Finance, and SmartMoney, marking her as the ultimate tax expert.

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