THE BLOG

10 Easy Ways to Feel More Festive

12/18/2013 12:52 EST | Updated 02/17/2014 05:59 EST

Having trouble getting into the holiday spirit? Christmas can be very stressful, especially if you are shopping for gifts on a budget, juggling work, an active family and festive social commitments. It so important to manage everyone's expectations, including your own. Savvy Money Gal has the perfect solution for the holiday season and it all starts with you in mind. We believe the holiday season is a time for giving thanks to what really matters in our lives, and realizing that stuff can sometimes be so unimportant, but yet it gets so much of our attention.

In the spirit of giving more, spending less and embracing the moment, we've come up with 10 simple luxuries that will help you find your inner Santa, astonish loved ones on your gift list and get you in the holiday mindset with enhanced peace and calm.

1. Take some "ME" time. Whether you prefer to curl up with a good book or soak in a bubble bath, don't forget to schedule some time to pamper yourself. Set aside at least one hour a week for you.

2. Reach out and reconnect with a friend from the past. Perhaps you haven't heard from a friend from the past in a very long time. She probably could use a friend like you right now.

3. Connect with your gal pals. Invite your girlfriends over for eggnog and edibles. Share some stories and engage in laughter. Start a yearly tradition.

4. Help those less fortunate. You can do this by volunteering at a homeless shelter over the holidays or helping out at the local food bank. The call for giving is in all of us.

5. Give the gift of your time to a busy mom. All of us know of a mom who is overwhelmed, exhausted and has her plate full who could use this gift. You can do this by looking after her children free-of-charge for an afternoon or date night.

6. Give a friend who is caring for an elderly parent or loved one some respite. Offer to step in for an evening. Your thoughtfulness will be much appreciated and needed.

7. Simplify your gift shopping. Stuff just collects dust. A shared experience is treasured forever. Plan something for you and or your family. Manage expectations around you and see the positive outcomes.

8. Go to church. This is the perfect time of year to enrich your life with greater meaning or purpose. You don't have to be religious to enjoy the Yuletide in your community.

9. Get unplugged. Put away your handheld device or cell phone. Are the messages really that important? Can they wait? Take your children out to play, and give them 100% of your attention. Spend some quality time with loved ones and avoid the temptation to reach for your device.

10. Mark the 12 days of Christmas. Do something every day that you have always wanted to do. Create a new tradition for yourself. It could be something as simple as engaging in conversation with friends and family on what makes them thankful or plan deliberate acts of kindness or giving. Joy can be easily found by being generous with others.

Happy Holidays from Anita Saulite! Author of the Savvy Money Gal: 6 Savvy Money Strategies for Successful Women