Mirror News Columnist

Snow falls as lights twinkle on the tree, and all is quiet in the world on Christmas Eve.

The problem is that beautiful night is not here just yet. Right now, here in the present, the craziness of standing in unbelievably long lines, hustling to find the perfect gift, and spending hundreds of dollars is the grim reality.

Ask yourself, is it all worth it? I’m not suggesting that the people in your life aren’t worth the trouble; however, gifts are not the only reason to celebrate the holidays.

It seems as though, at this time of year, people forget the really important things in life. So I have compiled a list of things that will help get you through the holidays:

• The three F’s: Family. Friends. And food. (Friends and family make the party, and food helps you add on those couple of pounds that keep you warm, post Christmas.)
• Make sugar cookies. (It’s a stress free activity that only costs about $5 for the dough, icing and food coloring, and they are quite a crowd-pleaser.)
• Decorate the house. (A Christmas tree is an easy way to light up a living room, plus it’s something you can do with your loved ones.)
• Give to those less fortunate. (I know it’s hard to spare those extra dollars right now, but there are people who aren’t lucky enough to have the resources to celebrate the holidays. Volunteering at soup kitchens and donating to the Salvation Army are just a couple of ways you can help.)
• Set a cap for the amount of money to spend on each person. (I know it sounds cheap, but the perfect gift doesn’t have to be expensive, and it’s a simple way to budget before you shop.)

Remember this holiday season that life is so much more than material goods. Spending time with loved ones and being thankful for what you have is key. Happy Holidays!