Along with crackling fires, roasting turkeys and the fresh scent of an evergreen, it's no secret that the holidays can be a little crazy. From to-do lists to cooking from scratch to managing crowded airports, celebrating at the holidays can drive even the calmest person a little batty. 

With this in mind and our first end-of-the-year holiday upon us, here are three tips for keeping your sanity intact over the next month or so. 

1. Say "Yes" to the Things that Matter

There will be many opportunities to spend money and time this holiday season. Our first tip is: don't do everything. Cut back where you can. If there is a group gift at work, pitch in your contribution rather than go out on your own. For teacher gifts, choose the educator's favorite choice: a Target gift card. Don't accept every party invite. Class party? Bring the bottled water. Someone has to do it! Is there an event you always attend but secretly dread? Skip it this year and maybe next year, too. 

Choose your "yes" carefully at this time of year. It will take more pressure off and allow some of the season's spirit to blossom in new ways. 

2. Go Minimal-ish

Do you decorate two or more Christmas trees? Do just one this year. Are you hosting a Martha Stewart-worthy holiday gathering? Ask for help; order pies from a local bakery; or decrease the number of dishes you serve by 25 percent (there's always too much food anyway!). 

When company is coming, resist the urge to purchase new sheets or something "special" for the table. What you already own is perfect enough. Consider charity donations for that hard-to-gift friend or relative. As you unpack holiday decorations, put up less than usual and donate those tacky nutcracker figurines. 

3. Choose Three Things that You Can't Do Without

It's a shame to arrive at Jan. 2 and realize that you never attended the zoo lights festival. Or asked your best friend out for a Pumpkin Spice latte because things were too busy. This year, choose three things that make the holidays special. Whether it's cutout cookies or going for a crisp winter walk, there are probably a few things that make the holidays glitter for you. So, make them happen!

Confidential to our customers, employees and vendors: Warm Thanksgiving wishes are headed your way from UCEC! We give thanks for you and your support this year. May your holiday be safe and happy; and may the day be filled with great memories made with friends and family.  

 

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