Your Holiday Survival Kit - The Life You Love

Your Holiday Survival Kit

My Christmas tree has been up since before Thanksgiving.  I love the holiday season because I think it can bring out the best in people and in the self.  I also think it can bring up some shitty feelings, like stress and loneliness.  Before I keep going with my holiday survival tips, I want to be super clear about how blessed I am.  Thankfully, I'm a pretty fortunate person with little to worry about in comparison to others.  Of course, there are many many many people who are less fortunate than I am and have much bigger problems to worry about.  If you're interested in giving to others this season, here are a couple ways to give:

  • Donate to the Salvation Army.  Growing up, my mom always made sure we had a couple dollars that we could slip into the red kettle on our way out of the store.  It doesn't seem like much, but every little bit adds up.  If you never have cash on you, don't worry!  They accept online donations.
  • I can't write much about this one because it hits too close too home and I'll cry.  Donate to a soldier or military family in need through Operation Christmas Spirit.  My dad was in the Army for 20 years.
  • Okay, apparently all of these are just going to make me cry.  With One Simple Wish, you can help grant a child's wish.  A child who is currently in foster care.  They range from gifts like Lego sets to laptops to help study in high school to plane tickets to be able to see their parents and siblings.
  • Another classic way to give!  Drop off toys at a local Toys for Tots dropoff location.  With all of the sales that happen around this time of the year and gift guides on every corner, you'll certainly be able to find a great toy for a child.
  • If you'd prefer to give locally, I encourage you to find local organizations that are accepting donations for food, money, clothes, toys, etc.  You can even find a local animal shelter and see what they need.

And now that I'm experiencing all the feels, let's talk about how to survive the holidays.  If you're asking, "But Samantha, the holidays are glorious!  Why would I need to survive them if they're fucking amazing?!"  So glad that you asked so I didn't have to force some unsolicited advice onto ya. Don't worry, everything in my survival kit can fit into your favorite bag.

The holidays are expensive.  Follow a budget and use cashback apps.

Personally, I use ebates for almost every purchase.  Even if it's just 1% back.  Money is money is money and it sure as hell adds up.  If you don't believe me, think about all of those "just a quick coffee" stops that you made and ask your wallet how it feels.  Shit adds up.  And guess what.  You probably need a budget.  For life in general, but especially for the holidays because again SHIT ADDS UP.

People ask a lot of questions.  Prepare yourself to answer.

That whole joke about your aunt always asking if you're in a relationship yet is not a joke.  Aunt Carol is going to ask the same goddamn questions every year.  Even after you're married.  Then they just change into awkward questions about when you're going to get knocked up.  Y'all, just prepare yourself to answer.  I'm not saying you need to have a script, but you have to have at least a general idea of what you'll say so you don't scream at Aunt goddamn Carol.

People also say dumb shit.  Get yourself a coping method.

I highly recommend using an app like What's Up to deal with your emotions and get out of the situation for a moment.  They have different techniques like paced breathing, getting grounded through the senses, affirmations, and more.  If you're interested in seeing more about mental health apps, be sure to keep checking my blog because I will eventually post something about them.

Carry around a notebook.  Or you'll forget everything.

Between gift ideas, holidays parties, and thank yous, you need to keep track of a lot of shit.  And really, we all know that you aren't going to remember it without writing it down somewhere.  Keep your notebook with you at all times.  If you can't be trusted with a paper notebook, just use an app.  I prefer to use OneNote for everything because it syncs between my iPhone app and my computer app.

And keep an actual kit in your purse. 

Either buy one or use one of your 1358 ipsy bags that you have lying around the house.  Just me?  Throw in some basics like gum, a mini hair brush, some hair ties, an extra set of stud earrings, cleansing wipes, dry shampoo... basically anything that you may need while you're out.  Pinch Provisions has some cute kits and if you want to make your own, you can also order refills of things like deodorant wipes and stain removing towelettes from their website.

No comments