Mind your money
Finances are a HUGE stressor during the holidays, so this will be a long one.
First, you have to talk to your family and discuss your previous expenses. Be honest about the financial stress you experienced because of poor or lack of planning. Then, together, make plans on how to reduce your expenses. Make sure you reach a consensus so it's easier to stick to the plan.
Next, create a system that helps you be mindful of your finances. For example, don't just think of the total allowable expense. Instead, put a financial cap on everything you need to buy, e.g., groceries, gifts, decorations, and even tips to Christmas carolers. Being this meticulous helps you avoid the pressure of making sudden financial decisions.
When budgeting, think about your priorities first; give them more significant cuts. Then, you may distribute what's left on those that don't matter so much. Prioritizing is key to a less financially stressful holiday.
Once you've created a budget on EVERYTHING, put a copy of it on your phone (or however you want to make it handy). This way, you'll always have a reference on how much your budget on anything is.
Additionally, track your expenses. If you create your budget in an Excel Sheet and input basic arithmetic formulas in it, you can easily deduct the holiday expenses you make in a day from your total budget.
Tracking your expenses may seem tedious. However, it creates financial awareness, especially when you're likely to get tempted to overspend on things you adore. Expense tracking lets you see your money deplete day by day and helps you evaluate your financial decisions.