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I have a term I like to use called the “Holiday hangover.” It’s not from drinking too much eggnog, but from overspending and overdoing it during the holidays.

But, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!!!”

Although, this really should be a joyous time of year it can also be extremely stressful.  With a few days left until Christmas, here are some tips on how to remember the reason for the season.

1. Simplify your schedule

Although you’ve probably been invited to tons of holiday parties, you only have so much energy, time and money to allocate.  If there’s something you feel obligated to go to, but don’t want to, don’t.  Having time and space will allow you to have the joy and energy for those whom you love.

2. Bring cash

When you’re going shopping, make a list and determine how much you will spend per person. Take out the cash before hand and leave your card at home. On average, Americans add $986 of debt during the holidays.

I have to remind myself my children don’t need every item on their Christmas list to enjoy this season. I ask myself: Am I teaching my children Christmas is more about getting stuff or about spending quality time with loved ones and giving?

3. The gift of time

I admire people who are super crafty and can bake magnificent treats. Unfortunately, I’m neither. For me, things like coupons to take someone to lunch, give a 30 minute back rub (my husband loves these), etc. are easy and give the recipient something to look forward to. As I like to say, experiences over stuff.

4. Do a White Elephant

Instead of buying a bunch of gifts for a group, there’s nothing better than a white elephant. Of course, the key is to find something in your home you don’t want.

Every year, I take great joy in coming up with a gift as funny as possible. In years past, we were part of a small group where a Kevin Federline CD made an annual appearance and I remember fondly a set of Planet of the Apes (VHS) that would do it rounds during the holidays.

5. Make Time to Be Grateful

I love this time of year because it makes me reflect on the year.

As I have this time off, I’m going to make it priority to talk with my family about what we’re thankful for from this year. For me, it’s been: spending more quality time with my kids, having a super supportive and loving husband, amazing clients who inspire me to take my life higher, wonderful friends who support and challenge me and being able to support causes we’re passionate about.

What things help you to remember the reason for the season?

Have a Merry Christmas/Holiday Season! Hope it is truly blessed.