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holiday season

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The holiday season is coming. Soon, guests will fill homes to make memories that will last a lifetime. One of the biggest challenges of the holidays is creating magic moments without driving yourself crazy with stress trying to achieve those golden memories. With the right tools, you can enjoy a wonderful holiday without being overwhelmed by stress.

Organization is Key

To keep your sanity during the holidays, you need to plan early. Guests can be stressful and the holidays are no exception. The more details you can handle before the guests arrive, the smoother things will go.

Plan the menu. If you are hosting the main holiday meal, it can take days to shop for and prepare all the food. Start early. Make lists and double-check them. Do all the shopping you can before the guests arrive so you can focus on your guests and enjoying time with your loved ones.

Make a guest list. Details such as who is coming to dinner and any food allergies are important. Use your guest list and compare it to the menu to balance the number of guests with the food. If you invite a dozen people to dinner and serve up one pie, your stress level soar will soar.

Will there be overnight guests? Where will they sleep? The more issues you can iron out before the guests arrive, the better things will go. Unexpected issues will always come up. If you address all the big details before the last minute, you’ll have more time to address the last minute disasters as they occur.

Schedule Downtime

Between cooking meals, entertaining guests, and attending to a million details, holiday entertaining can be overwhelming. To be a good host and keep your stress levels in check, you need to give yourself a few moments to catch your breath. Sneak a few moments of downtime and allow yourself to put your feet up to keep your sanity.

The longer you will have guests visiting, the more you need to schedule downtime. Get creative with efforts to get self-care if you need to. Send guests off shopping together or to visit another relative, and sneak a quick hot bath to soak aching muscles. If there are no options to sneak a few moments of downtime, a family movie with popcorn and holiday-themed candy cane cocoa, using flavoured syrup, can be a good way to enjoy family and reduce stress.

A big part of a warm and fuzzy holiday is being able to enjoy family time without a mental breakdown. While stress is a part of any holiday, giving yourself a few moments to tend to self-care is crucial. Spending time with your loved ones should and can be a joy, but you need to take care of yourself while tending to everyone else.

Stay On Budget

It is easy to get swept up in the season’s magic. A big part of managing stress is keeping your budget intact. Sit down before you plan your holiday and have a serious discussion about what you can afford. Perhaps a potluck meal with everyone bringing a side dish would be best for your budget. Maybe you need to avoid spending on gifts. Figure out what you can afford and stick to it.

It is possible to stay on a budget and have a holiday to remember. Stores often run sales on holiday meal staples just before the holiday season. Take advantage of coupons and cashback offers, if you can. A popular option for many holiday gatherings is for everyone to bring their special dish while the host provides the main course. Most people have a dish they love and will jump at the offer to bring it. Turkey giveaways are also popular. There are many ways to host a holiday meal without breaking the bank.

Gift-giving is another place that the holidays can bust a budget and cause stress. We all want to give a gift that will wow our loved ones. Overspending on gifts is the quickest way to make your stress level rise. The best gifts do not come from stores. If your budget does not allow for a ton of pricey material items, then get creative and go with gifts that don’t cost a thing. Keeping to your budget will help reduce your holiday stress.

The holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year. If you go into the season with the right plan, it will be wonderful and stress-free too.

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Honey Boo Boo returns to screens this holiday season with four television specials, and in anticipation, the 7-year-old has revealed her most prized and hated Christmas gifts.

During the Christmas special, which airs on February 17, Mama June also joins in and explains why the mother-daughter-duo will be on Santa Claus’ “nice” list this year.

The precocious youngster says in a TLC preview: “The worst Christmas gift I ever got was my Barbie car that I had to take back because it was too small.”

Meanwhile, her favorite gift is something she treasures every day.

“My best Christmas present was my tent that goes over my bed,” she says.

June Shannon’s top gift was just as versatile.

She reveals: “The best Christmas gift I got was a year ago when I got my crock pot, ’cause we were able to put meals in there and then just forgot about it, come back like eight hours later and it would be ready.

June Shannon, a mother of four, can’t remember the worst gift she was given, but recalls a $5 gift card for Walmart somewhere along the way.

“What are you gunna by nowadays with $5? I mean come on now,” she scolds.

Honey Boo Boo returns to screens this holiday season with four television specials, and in anticipation, the 7-year-old has revealed her most prized and hated Christmas gifts

Honey Boo Boo returns to screens this holiday season with four television specials, and in anticipation, the 7-year-old has revealed her most prized and hated Christmas gifts

On whether the pair will be on Santa’s naughty or nice list, both say they’ll definitely be placed in the “nice” category.

June Shannon said: “I think I’m going to be on Santa’s nice list this year. We give a lot back to our community and that, and I think we get a few extra brownie points because Sugar Bear is Santa’s little helper.”

Without missing a beat, Honey Boo Boo agreed.

“Nice list,” she said.

“My daddy’s always Santa Claus, so…”

Here Comes Honey Boo Boo Halloween special airs on TLC January 6th, the Thanksgiving special on January 13th, the Clip Show on February 10th and the Christmas special on February 17th.