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Tips for a Happy Holiday Season

ChristmasMantelThe holidays are meant to be a happy, enjoyable season. Yet the stress of shopping, decorating and entertaining can sometimes dampen the spirit.

Here are some easy tips to help you make this a great, stress-free holiday season:
* Before heading to the mall, make a list of everyone you want to give a gift to and some ideas of gifts they may like. This will help you organize a budget and streamline your experience once you hit the stores.  
* Start early so you’ll have more time to find that perfect gift for everyone on your list.  After all, you’re less apt to select a great gift if you are rushing through a store before they close on Christmas Eve.
* Try to shop during the week to avoid long check-out lines.  
* To help keep the holiday budget in check, consider making handmade gifts or personalized coupons. These gifts are sometimes the most remembered and most valuable to receive.
* Enlist the kids to help you decorate. It’s a great way to spend time together as a family and lets everyone feel more a part of the holiday celebrations.  
* Wrap gifts as you go rather than leaving everything until Christmas Eve.

And don’t forget the stockings. Pouring out the contents of a stocking is a big part of the Christmas morning tradition. While stockings traditionally include candy and fruit, the small stocking stuffer gifts are what make stockings most memorable.

 * To make bath time more fun for all the kids, stuff their stockings with a selection of inexpensive bath art items. You can find bath paints, markers and crayons that let the little ones unleash their inner Picassos. Bathtub clings and foam letters, shapes and numbers let them create a new masterpiece every time they get clean.

* Gift cards are perfect for stocking stuffers. They don’t have to be large amounts- even a $5 gift card can provide a free cup of coffee and a smile!

* Consider new toothbrushes for kids in stockings to offset all those candy canes!

* The dollar store is a great place to inexpensively round out those stockings with easy, fun last minute gifts.

The bottom line is to just relax. There’s too much happiness in the holidays to let a little hustle and bustle bring you down. After all, there’s no place like home for the holidays!

Information coutesy of www.spinbrush.com.

Photo courtesy of Getty

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