Your Guide to Navigating the Holiday Season

The holidays are a time for joy, reflection, and gratitude, but it can be hard to remember all that in between stressing over gifts, finding the perfect Christmas tree, and remembering what side dish you promised to bring to your grandmother’s house. Fortunately, we have guides for everything you need to have a happy holiday season, from thoughtful gift ideas and decking the halls on a budget, to celebrating Christmas away from home and caring for your mental and emotional well-being. Here’s our roundup of our best holiday-themed advice.

How to Decorate for the Holidays on a Budget

“That first Christmas wasn’t fancy or Pinterest-worthy, but I still was able to get into the holiday spirit and decorate without spending a dime.” Read more.

Not Sure What Gift to Give? Ask These 3 Questions First

“When the urge to buy someone a sports-themed, microwave-safe nacho dish hits me, I try to take a step back. If you’re on the same path, these questions can help guide your gift giving away from the discount bin and toward something they’ll truly welcome.” Read more.

Homesick for the Holidays: Celebrating My First Christmas Away from Home

“Letting go of my expectations of what Christmas should be allowed me to focus on the traditions that were really important to me. I accepted that Christmas in a new place wouldn’t be the same and allowed myself a bit of space for sadness about that. Then, I enjoyed the Christmas that I had, in a new place, with new loved ones and new traditions.” Read more.

Beyond the Gift Card: How to Be a Better Secret Santa

“While it may be tempting to go the gift card route, try to be more personal and deliberate with your gift this year. By spending just a few minutes learning about your co-worker, you can tap into his or her interests and get a fantastic gift they’ll enjoy. And besides your teammate becoming the envy of the office, it’s a great way to connect with coworkers you do not normally work alongside and improve company morale.” Read more.

6 Ways to Protect Your Mental Health During the Holidays

“For some of us, the supposed most wonderful time of the year…isn’t. Stressors like family drama, finances, and unhealthy work-life balance have a way of turning the season of merry and bright into a mental health blight. In fact, many people find themselves most prone to depression and anxiety during the holidays. Recognizing this tendency is an opportunity to be proactive this year.” Read more.

It’s OK to Skip Gifts This Christmas

“We realized the holidays were more enjoyable when we avoided the stress of overspending and focused our attention on the time we spent with the people we love. If you aren’t able to give gifts this year, that doesn’t mean you can’t show your friends and family how much you care for them this Christmas.” Read more.

5 Holiday Activities That Won’t Break The Bank

“Despite the heavy-handed message to buy buy buy, the truth is I don’t have to spend a fortune to feel like I’m truly immersing myself in the Christmas spirit. There are so many fun things to do that cost nothing (or next to nothing), and usually it’s those activities that bring me closer to my loved ones. Shared experiences have so much more impact than an overpriced scarf or last minute gift-grab, and they really help build community.” Read more.

Thinking Outside the Box: Meaningful Holiday Gift Ideas for Everyone on Your List

“One year for Christmas, one of my college best friends gave me framed photos of a trip to Europe that we took the previous summer. It was a gift I’ll never forget: It’s currently hanging in my apartment to this day. Sure, the latest gadgets are fun and all, but what about giving meaningful, unique gifts to everyone on your list like the one my friend gave me? Here’s a holiday gift list of interesting ideas that will surely be loved by all.” Read more.