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Holiday Sanity Savers From A Mostly-Sane Mom

By Nicole Dean

The Holidays are a stressful time. Between the additional errands, the extra traffic, and the stress of spending money that you don't have - even the sanest mom will be questioning her sanity as the holidays near.

Here are a few ideas to help you keep your sanity this holiday season.

Make a list (and check it twice). Keep your shopping list in your purse to keep from being overwhelmed or worse - overspending. If you walk into a store and are bedazzled by all the shiny things, I can relate. I get so overwhelmed that I get nothing accomplished. But, as the Holidays near, I tend to switch into "SuperMarket Sweep mode and I start throwing everything into my cart (whether I really need it or not). Having a list can help fight this urge, keep you sane - and help your budget stay sane in the process.

As soon as you start buying, start wrapping. There's nothing more stressful than tackling a mountain of unwrapped gifts two days before Christmas. Save on the cost of wrapping paper by buying it after the holiday each year and stowing it away for next year. Be sure to attach gift tags as you wrap. If you're wrapping a month in advance, there's no way you're going to remember what that funky rectangular shaped box is, let alone who it's for.

To save time and sanity, wrap gifts that go together in all the same paper. For instance, wrap all gifts that will be going with you to your mother-in-law's on Christmas Eve in the red paper with the gingerbread men. And put all gifts for your friends and neighbors in the blue paper with the snowflakes, etc.

Cook in advance. Did you know that you can make mashed potatoes during the summer, freeze them, and have them ready for the holidays? Mashed potatoes can be kept in the freezer for months if you use a freezer-friendly recipe. Cook your mashed potatoes in advance and offer to bring them to Christmas dinner. You can skip the stress of cooking, because they"ll be ready and waiting for you.

Limit your travel. The holidays are about family, but they are also about togetherness and making memories. If you're spending your holidays trapped in the car together, driving down icy roads, stressed out, consider ways to travel less.

The Holidays are a time to make memories. Oftentimes the memories we are making are of a stressed-out mom, running around missing out on all the fun because she's trying to create a perfect moment. Instead, relax and experience the holidays with your family. Between a little planning and taking some of the pressure off, you'll have a Holiday that would make Norman Rockwell sigh.

About The Author

Nicole Dean is a mostly-sane mom and creator of - a fun and informative site to help moms achieve success working from home. She invites you to learn more money-saving tricks at and to take her free tutorial for work at home moms at

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