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Keeping the Holidays Happy-Maintain your sanity!

People all across America are busy preparing for the largest dinner of the year (until Christmas that is). Grocery stores all across the nation are being descended upon for deals on turkey, ham, potatoes, stuffing (dressing where I come from), pie crust, cakes and a whole host of menu items in our family traditions. And don't get it twisted, this meal is in no ways cheap, but we are dedicated to these amazing feasts for our families and friends on Thanksgiving Day.

Not to be outdone by the massive food preparation, retail stores are filling their shelves with gifts that range from trivial stocking stuffers to expensive, high end gifts. Gone are the days when people fill their stomachs and sleep off the food coma for the rest of the day. Many people get up from the Thanksgiving Dinner table and rush out to the nearest retail outlet that is open on Thanksgiving Day.

I myself now refuse to interrupt my quality time with friends and family to run and fight with shoppers in the nearest Walmart. If I choose to get in the fray at all, it will definitely be on Black Friday or Small Business Saturday for the more unique gifts.

However the best option of all is probably to enjoy the world of online shopping featured on Cyber Monday! The sad thing is that most folks have spent all their money before Cyber Monday arrives, but there is much to be said for keeping Thanksgiving Day sacred for quality time with those you love and shopping from the comforts of home on your computer.

With this idea in mind, I introduce my first key to keeping the holidays happy: Maintain your sanity!

It is much easier to maintain your sanity when you are not sleep deprived, getting in lines at ridiculous hours and stressed out running from store to store in hopes of grabbing one of the ten TVs that Best Buy is selling dirt cheap.

This year, I submit to you to resist the urge to get into the shopping frenzy. Keep it easy and shop online or at least only go out for the items you really want, that are truly good deals for quality gifts.

Here is a tip from me to maintain your sanity--go with gift cards and/or a copy of Bold, Brave and Courageous for the preteen and teen girls in your life---yes this is a shameless plug! You can get a variety of gift cards and copies of Bold, Brave and Courageous here.

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