By Katy Cable-A 4 min. Read
Happy Holidays! I hope all of you are delighting in the merriment of the season and not stressing out over schedules, finances, obligations and expectations. I'll be honest with you, when it comes to Christmas, I tend to be a bit of a "Grinch"! I over-commit and never remember to take traffic, crowds, budgets, or my own energy levels into consideration. I’m usually left sick, tired, broke and frustrated before most people have their Christmas lights up.
Every year I promise I'm going to "scale-back" and do things differently but it never happens. I would do much better if the holidays came every FOUR years like the Olympics or Presidential elections. So, if you’re re anything like me, here are a few suggestions that I’m trying out this year. I’m hoping to have a much less chaotic, “happier” holidays!
🎁It's all about the gifts🎁
It astounds me, all these catalogs and websites showcasing “perfect” gift ideas that START at $500! If I had funds like that, I sure wouldn’t need a gift guide for assistance. But coming up with a personal, unique wonderful gift on a minimal budget is difficult. And not only that, it’s very stressful. So here are some ideas that have gone over well for me and will hopefully a big hit for those on your gift-giving list. Best of all, the gifts range from very inexpensive to fun “experiences” that you can treat yourself to as well.
If you have even less money than time, don't feel bad. Some of the most cherished gifts are those that come from the heart and don’t cost much money. Here are a few of my favorite ideas:
🎁Are you great with a camera or love social media? How about offering to set up an Instagram for a friend’s new pet. Last year I made holiday videos for my friends. I used clips and photos of fun things we did all year long. On Christmas morning I sent them in a text message.
🎁Have a flair for fashion? Why not give your “styling” services for a friend that would appreciate your help. Offer to select some nice pieces for an occasion or work. Depending on your budget, you can possibly buy them a nice accessory or one piece from their new wardrobe. Even better, hit a vintage store and select a special piece not found in stores.
🎁How about giving a friend a facial, massage, or show them how to make that amazing dish of your grandmother’s that they rave about. You can either take your friend and book appointments, or you can get nice products and do the facial or massage yourself.
🎁Have a cookie swap with some friends and place them on an inexpensive pretty plate. Hit thrift or vintage stores for great finds.
🎁Fill small sachets or jars with Epsom salts and add a few drops of peppermint oil. Tie them with a holiday ribbon. Epsom salt is like a magic elixir for pain relief and relaxation. It also helps flush toxins from the system.
🎁Buy a pretty vintage tea cup and add a sachet of tea. Perhaps a classic book or book of poems.
🎁Fill a small holiday stocking and with a coupon offering to do some dog walking or pet sitting for a friend.
My favorite holiday tradition is my “White Elephant Christmas” Postpartum Party. In between Christmas and New Year’s, I invite a few close friends over. Everyone brings a favorite dish and a “re-gift” We have a “re-gift” exchange and play some fun games like PUG-OPOLY or Jenga. Some years we decorate gingerbread houses, other times we make vision boards by cutting inspirational photos from magazines and making collages. It’s such fun to spend quality time with friends and it doesn’t cost much money. Plus we usually trade an unwanted gift for something we like better.
Other ideas are movie nights, a sporting tail-gate party or meet for pedicures or massages where everyone can treat themselves to some post-holiday pampering.
As a pet owner, nothing could be better than receiving some much-needed help from another trusted pet owner. Offer to help with pet sitting or dog walking if their schedule is crazy
Another wonderful idea is treat yourself to a shelter pet. Many rescues and shelters offer “Home Fur The Holidays” programs where families can foster a shelter pet for the holidays. This allows prospective adopters an opportunity to try things out before committing and it gets a needy animal out of the stressful shelter for the holidays. Hopefully the pet will end up being a “foster-fail” and become a new family member. Check your local shelters or rescues for info.
I hope this year you’ll spend much less money and have much more fun by trying a few of these ideas. -HAPPY HOWLIDAYS!
🐾Katy Cable is a former actress appearing in “Back To The Future” and starring in the TV series: “Safe At Home” & “ Fired Up!” In addition to her dog health & lifestyle blog/vlog: The Weekly Runt, (https://www.weeklyrunt.com/) she’s a contributing writer to numerous publications including Thrive Global, & The Huffington Post. Cable lives at the beach with her husband, Rick and her rescue Pug, Olive.🐾