Even for the most spirited of us, Christmas can be a very stressful time of year. Between shopping, decorating, traveling and seeing family, there’s enough commotion to get anyone frazzled.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. The holidays were meant to be a happy time. Good food, celebration and great company are all around – waiting to be enjoyed. With a few simple steps, you can turn this frantic holiday season into a relaxing affair.

Keep a Realistic Budget

One of the most stressful parts of the holidays is money. There’s never enough to do everything. You want decorations that are as good as the neighbors, enough food to feed your neighborhood, and presents that impress.

If you are realistic with your expectations for this Christmas, it will make things a lot easier. Set a budget that you can afford. Once you’ve decided how much you can spend, figure out what you want to spend it on. Take things off the list that you want, but don’t really need; keep the items you consider “necessities.” Just remember to stay within your budget.

Remember to play nice with your finances too.  Merchants are actively trying to preventchargeback fraud. Do your part. If you suffer from buyer’s remorse or find you’ve exceeded your budget, return the item. Don’t commit chargeback fraud. It may see to simplify things – especially during this hectic time of year. But the process is more than dishonest; it’s lengthy and frustrating.

Keep Christmas Small

While Christmas is a time to spend with loved-ones, that doesn’t mean you have to spend it with all of your loved-ones. Spending time with a few of your closest friends and family can make for a much more enjoyable experience than spending it with your entire extended family.

More people will always mean more stress. A lot of people require a lot of food, a lot of entertainment and a lot of clean-up. There’s also more chance for fighting or other unpleasant altercations.

Wrap As You Buy

One common (and terribly stressful) holiday practice is to wrap every gift in one night. It seems like a great idea while you’re putting it off, but once you face all the presents you’ve bought, it seems insurmountable.

Wrapping as you buy, however, is easy. A few presents a time over a longer period is a much easier prospect. You progress will also be more noticeable, which is great for your motivation.

Don’t Chase Perfection

Some things will go wrong. That’s okay. Everything can’t turn out the way you plan, but that’s the beauty of life.

Learn to enjoy things as they are, rather than worry about how they should be. You’ll be a lot happier.

Enjoy the Season

Do the little things that make this time of year enjoyable. Listen to Christmas music, watch Christmas movies, drive around to see the lights and drink eggnog. Whatever it takes to make this season fun, do it.

It’s much easier to look past the difficult parts of Christmas when you are enjoying yourself. There’s so much that makes this time of year special, you just need to find out what makes it special for you.

Relax

Christmas can definitely be stressful, but it can also be relaxing, if you let. I don’t remember hearing anyone say, “Tis the season to be stressed out.” It’s up to you to do what you need to keep yourself happy this time of year.

Hopefully, these simple steps will help you to thoroughly enjoy this Christmas season!