Allison Bates

Dec 07 2016

Ways to Put the “Happy” Back in Happy Holidays

Ways to Put the "Happy Back in Happy Holidays

Do you wish the holidays were a little less stressful and a lot more meaningful? If so, you’re not alone. Even the most wonderful time of year can cause extra stress—making sure everyone’s gift is just right, the holiday meal is cooked perfectly, and every decoration is flawlessly displayed. Reduce the pressure on yourself and add meaning to your holidays with the following tips:

Come up with a holiday budget, and stick to it.
Don’t budget on what you want to spend on gifts, budget what you can afford. No one on your gift list wants you to go broke paying off credit card bills halfway into the new year because you spent more than you could afford on gifts. The thought is nice, but your friends and family don’t want you putting that stress on yourself OR your finances.

Buy group gifts.
Buying group gifts not only allows you to save time and money on presents, but also on gift wrapping! Give a fun game to an entire family, tickets to a favorite event or movie to your nieces and nephews, or a gift basket with goodies for co-workers at the office.

Have a potluck holiday meal.
Potlucks are low-key and less stress, which means more fun. Make it festive by having a theme and asking attendees to bring recipes for the dishes they’ve made. It saves money and time for the hostess and allows for more meaningful interactions with family and friends. Plus, all the recipes can be saved and reminisced about for years to come.

Turn chores into events.
Oftentimes, something that is meant to be fun turns into a dreaded chore that becomes the responsibility of a single family member. Make decorating and holiday baking a family event everyone can enjoy together.

Enjoy inexpensive holiday entertainment.
This is a wonderful time of year for inexpensive holiday entertainment, which eases pressure on the pocketbook. Don’t forget to take a few relatives and friends—you might even find an event that becomes an annual tradition!

All things in moderation.
Don’t try to squeeze in too much of a good thing during the holidays, even if it all seems fun. You want to finish the holiday season feeling fulfilled, not frazzled.

Remember, it’s experiences that make memories, not material things. Allow yourself time to enjoy the special moments this holiday season brings. Remember to laugh, have fun, and catch up with family and friends; this will truly create warm memories for you and your loved ones.

In what ways do you reduce stress during the holiday season? We’d like to hear them in the comments below!

Allison Bates

About Allison Bates

Allison Bates is First Vice President and Branch Manager at Hills Bank’s North Liberty location on Forevergreen Road. She has been at Hills Bank since 2011 helping customers with their banking needs. In her free time, Allison enjoys spending time outdoors, cheering on the Chicago Cubs, and spending time with her husband, Nelson. Allison can be reached at

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