The holidays can be a mix of joyful reunions and parties, but there can be stress as well. On top of work and kids there is shopping, event planning, and probably a few end of the year deadlines, as well. Here are some holiday tips for Grande Prairie residents to make everything a little easier.  

  • Focus on what really matters. 

It isn’t the number of presents, the amount of money you spent or how beautiful the house decorations are that matter. It is family, friends, community and connections that matter. If you find yourself caught up trying to be everything and do everything because you think it has to be about giving everything you have away … take some time for yourself. Enjoy an evening in a hot tub, sleeping in one morning, or going on a date night while someone else watches your children. If you’re struggling with envy, ask others what they are grateful for having, this will help remind you of the amazing things to be grateful for.   

  • Have realistic expectations.  

Your home doesn’t have to look like a model home for a home decorating magazine, trying to make it look that way can stress you out. You might find yourself mad at your family for not focusing on decorating and cleaning, and then you miss out on making memories. Have realistic expectations for the holiday. This is the best time to reconnect with family and friends.  

Take time to set realistic expectations with your children, too. You don’t have to tell them what your budget for Christmas presents is, but you could discuss that they’ll get the presents your family thinks are right for their age and budget. They won’t be upset with you if they understand that you can’t afford the game system or new car they want.  

  • Review the year that ended.  

The end of the year is a good time to take a look back. What have you accomplished? What did you do that matters? Instead of being upset that you didn’t achieve all of your goals, take note of everything you did do. This is a good thing to talk about with your family, too. What did they do? What did they enjoy doing? What didn’t go as expected? What did they learn? This can lead to some serious conversations everyone should have.  

  • Plan for the future.  

A lot of people stress about the holidays because they’re worried about the bills that will come due in January. Setting a budget for gifts and activities can prevent that from happening next year. The end of the year is also a great time to talk about your budget for next year. You could avoid a lot of future money fights if you plan out how much you’re going to spend each month now. Then you don’t have to argue about choosing between fees for extracurricular activities for the children, a big Christmas, or adding to household debt. If you find it hard to balance income and outgo, talk to Whalen Mortgages your Grande Prairie Mortgage Brokerage about refinancing your mortgage to reduce payments or get extra funds so you can plan for the future and reduce your money-related stress.  

Happy holidays from Whalen Mortgages to all Grande Prairie residents.  

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