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"The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing." Stephen Covey

Dec. 7, 2022

We look forward to celebrating the holidays, but don’t look forward to planning and budgeting for them. Even though we know that budgeting and planning make our holidays happier and more peaceful, it is still hard to commit ourselves to making goals for the season. With a little planning and budgeting, we can avoid overdoing it and overspending. It allows us to prioritize activities that bring us the greatest joy and give the gifts that mean the most. Planning allows us to prioritize the activities that are the most enjoyable and skip those that are too socially or emotionally challenging, making the holidays more peaceful and pleasant for everyone. Families and caregivers of individuals with autism know the value of avoiding activities that can be over stimulating. The last few years have allowed us all to explore different ways of celebrating the holidays. We all had to do more activities remotely, travel less and find ways to celebrate that did not involve crowds. While we are excited to get back to the holiday activities that we missed during this time, the experience allowed us to evaluate which activities we really enjoy and which activities we were doing just because we always have. The pandemic also changed how we shop, but it did not change the importance of budgeting. Knowing what we will spend and purchase ahead of time still helps us control our spending this time of year. We all have to remember the value of low cost or free gifts such as a movie night, photo session or note of appreciation. Homemade gifts and baked goods are often the most cherished gifts of the season. Showing our love and appreciation for family and friends is important, but it does not need to cost a lot.