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5 Holiday Survival Tips For A Fun (And Stress-Free!) Christmas

by Audra Dittlinger

Here we are again! The holidays are upon us, which means cooler weather, a deficiency of motivation, tempting treats, and gift-giving.

Every year, the holidays hit, and every year, we’re not ready. Even if you’re reading this list right smack in the middle of the holiday season, it’s not too late to prep!

Here is a comprehensive list of holiday survival tips. It may not solve all of your problems, but it will certainly give you an opportunity to bust out of some bad habits before they get you down.

holiday survival tips

How To Survive The Holidays

1. Battle the crowds with grace…or utilize online shopping

If you find yourself in a place of frustration and social anxiety during the holiday season due to heavy congestion in the department stores, sit it out! Yep, you’re you, and you have a choice.

If you aren’t a fan of shopping the stores, and it tends to sour your mood, stick to online shopping!

Related: The Great Sales Hoax: 5 Tricks Retailers Use To Make You Spend More Money

Absolutely can’t get away from in-store shopping? While you’re in the car, listen to some of your favorite music. It’ll instantly put you in a better mood, and you’ll be ready to tackle the crowds with a little more tolerance.

2. Win the fight against food

So. Much. Food. Always, with the food. No matter which holiday you’re celebrating, there’s bound to be food.

We all tend to get in a slump during the holidays, because we feel we’ve eaten so much that we’re not happy with ourselves, which then spirals into double-time Zumba in the spring, so we can get prepped for bathing suit weather.

It doesn’t have to be this way! Allow yourself to indulge a little bit by exercising through the holidays. It doesn’t matter if you’re walking on a treadmill or bowling with your Wii, but if you allow yourself to get moving, you’ll be in a better position to not feel so bad about sneaking a piece or two of Aunt Martha’s fudge.

3. Don’t let your spending get out of hand

Here’s one of the biggest holiday survival tips: if you aren’t really sure of your budget, you probably don’t have one.

The biggest mistake I make every year is over-spending. I finally figured out why. I have an “idea” in my head of how much I want to spend on my spouse, kids, parents, etc., but that “idea” never makes its way to paper.

Related: 7 Ways To Take Control Of Your Finances

This year, I wasn’t having it! I set a dollar amount per person, and I am keeping track. I feel like an Excel goddess, with all of the damage I’m doing in keeping track of my budget. This allows me to stay on top of my spending, and all the while it keeps the usual bills from falling behind.

Try it. You might surprise yourself. After all, this is about holiday survival! Play offense, not defense.

4. Don’t let Debbie Downers or politics ruin your turkey dinner

We all have that one family member who insists on bringing up politics, religion, war, and other un-pleasantries at the dinner table. There’s usually an immediate uncomfortable silence, but that doesn’t last long, as it’s often followed by a loud, angry debate.

Be above it! Don’t let it get you down. Do you have great news about your family? Did your son make varsity? Did you score a masseuse who wasn’t chatty?  Pet hamster escaped, and was found? These are all family victories!

Related: 11 Ways To Stay Positive (Even When You’re Around Negative People)

As soon as it gets heated, raise your glass, and bring it back down to a happy place.  Do it with humor and grace, and you’ll pretty much be the hero for the evening.

5. Take care of yourself

With the winter months forcing us all inside, there are bound to be sick bugs passed around the office, the bus, even the mall.

If you aren’t one to get a flu shot, at least stay on top of the Vitamin C to try to keep the sniffles at bay.

If you do get a flu shot, you’re ahead of the game, but you’re not completely in the clear. You can still catch a head cold, and sticking to a vitamins regimen will boost your immune system, and give you energy.

The Takeaway

We all have our vices during the holidays, but instead of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy year after year, let’s try to break the cycle with these holiday survival tips! Have you heard of the law of attraction? Basically all you need to know is this: what you envision happening, shall be. Don’t forget—whatever you’re celebrating this time of year, take a moment and be thankful for it. This season is a time to pause and be grateful, and gratefulness will take us far.


AudraAudra Dittlinger is a contributor for, as well as a full-time working mom living in rural Indiana. She is an insurance professional with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She writes to create, inspire, and empower.

Photo by Junior League Of Gainesville

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