If your family is one that partakes in the holiday season, you probably have wonderful memories of home and love and joy throughout your childhood. But at some point, you grew up and might have even moved away. As we get older, our holidays change. You find out that getting gifts and going home is a lot more complicated than what it seemed like when you were younger. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a holiday filled with all the joy you did in grade school. With that in mind, we rounded up our top tips for tackling the holidays as an adult and having as much fun 10 year old you did years ago.
1. Budget like a boss.
The holidays can be hell on the wallet. You have some many people you love and want your gifts to represent your gratitude, but your funds can only go so far. It’s best to give yourself a limit. Limit how many people will get actual gifts from you and how much you will spend on each gift. (If you have friends that you want to give gifts to but are running low on funds, a simple card and home made cookies can be a sweet, simple gesture.) I have personally set a budget of twenty dollars for each gift for my people. (Pro tip: We have a budget-friendly gift guide filled with energizing gifts for everyone on your list.)
Budgeting also means that you need to factor in your travel charges. How much is gas and how many fill ups will you need? Are plane tickets part of the plan? Will you be crashing with family or do you need to get a hotel room? These things can run the rest of your finances dry if you don’t really think about it beforehand. List out every possible expense you could have during the holiday season and plan accordingly.
2. Be the Beyoncé of scheduling.
Depending on your job, getting home may be a struggle or short-lived. I work in retail so I have few days where the store is closed and I can actually go home. Make sure to ask for time off to travel, enjoy your family, and travel back home. Sometimes, scheduling makes it impossible to get home and that may be a bitter pill to swallow. This year, I could not go home for Thanksgiving and it was very strange for me to not be around a table with my family on a day like that. However, I had to realize that things happen and sometimes I can’t go home. Try to schedule so you can have the best of both worlds.
3. Making the most of it, whatever it is.
Alright, so we have covered how much of a hassle getting home can be on its worst day. But what do you do when you get home? Once again, I think it comes down to limits. You can’t possibly see everyone and do everything if your time is severely limited. Focus on spending time with those closest to you: your loved ones. Reignite old traditions from your childhood. For a few days, you are allowed to forget about your job and your home and the road trip you have ahead. Just be in the moment and enjoy those around you.
Still At Home?
As I’ve said before, sometimes you can’t go home. But that’s okay too. You don’t have to be alone on a holiday. Trends like “friendsgiving” have become really popular amongst groups of friends who can’t go home. If you can’t get home for the actual holiday, you can go home before or after. The calendar doesn’t have to dictate when you celebrate! Also, take advantage of the remarkable technology available to us and Facetime the family while watching the same movie together.
Growing up is a weird thing and no one told you that it would affect the holidays. But it really is okay. You can foster that same type of love and happiness no matter what the day is. Remember to always appreciate what you have and work with what you’ve got.