(Don’t Do This!) 5 Mistakes Military Spouses Should Avoid this Holiday Season

4. Buying BIG gifts

No brainer, right? But why do many of us ending up spending way too much on stuff that often gets tucked in the back of a closet. Take time to think about the most meaningful gift you have ever received. Was it expensive? Or thoughtful? Chances are, thoughtful outranks expensive. So instead of going big, think about how you can put more meaning behind what you are giving.

Give yourself some quiet space when you write your list. Devote time to thinking what someone might value versus the “wow” factor of a big spend. When it comes to your service member spouse, think of gifts of time and attention for each other, that can help you build a stronger relationship versus just building a big credit card bill which just creates relationship stress.

5. Forgetting to ask for help. 

As military spouses, we are often doing things on our own and we forget to ask for help. We do and do and do until we fall over. Avoid the holiday burnout by asking early on for help. And limit the amount of commitments you make with your time and your talents. The holiday season should also be enjoyable for you. That means having time to spend with your family and friends sipping egg nog (we won’t judge if you add a shot of rum).

So instead of volunteering to help with every event, or providing cookies for all your kids’ classrooms, or saying you’ll handle the special project at work while you are traveling to see family, set realistic expectations for your holiday season. And ask people to help you make the holiday special so you can enjoy this time of year too!

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