Karen McCall's Holiday PlannerFor years the holidays left me with an emotional and financial hangover. If you can relate, I’d like to share the process that it took to turn this around for myself.

The first step to making this holiday season better than previous ones is to examine what worked and what didn’t work with previous seasons. Would you like to do that? It’s not always easy, but let’s give it a try.

Here’s an example. I remember when my children were young that I used to love to buy them lots of presents… even if I couldn’t afford it. I’d start my shopping early when the department stores first started playing the Christmas music and decorating. (And you know that they start this process earlier and earlier these days, don’t they?) But then I would continue to shop throughout the holiday season, sometimes forgetting how many presents I had already purchased. January, when the credit card bills came, was not a pleasant experience.

And yet… when I look back to what my daughters loved the most, more than their gifts were the simplest things like Mom not being stressed, family time with games, and just spending time together.

What did I learn from this?

Planning.

Planning what I would spend and then really sticking with it.

Remembering.

Remembering that it was the time I spent with my children, like baking cookies, that they loved even more than a new toy.

So now each year in early November, I get out my Holiday Planner, and I work the process. It really helps me to stay in touch with the holiday season that we as a family want to have: balanced, within our means, and stress free. You can download your free copy here.

November 12th, 2015 by Karen McCall