With the holidays creeping up, long lists of to-do's start to pile up. Mine consist of many assignments, projects, and final exams, but for other's Christmas shopping and family gatherings clutter the near future. While the hustle and bustle reaches a climax this time of year, it's important to take a step back and remember how blessed we are. Here are five tips to help you feel good during the holiday season!

1. Donate

Whether it be your time, your money, or toys and clothes for the less fortunate, it is a time of giving. All around us is the societal pressure to buy buy buy, but we have plenty to give all around. Go through your pantry and donate food to your local food pantry to help place a holiday meal on the table for those who can't afford one. While shopping for big-ticket items for your sisters, spend an extra $10 to buy a barbie for Toys for Tots. My personal favorite is to spending time to bake cookies for my church, but maybe donating warm winter clothes to those freezing is more time friendly for your schedule. All in all, don't just give to those you love, reach out and spread the love.

2. Start Traditions

In my household we make fudge, hang a pickle ornament on the tree, and leave carrots out for Santa's reindeer. There's no better time to start a family tradition than now! Whether it be a decoration that is taken out, a certain food to remind you of the holidays, playing Christmas music, or even something with friends- like secret Santa- there is nothing better than the joy that connects everyone you love.

3. Handmade is Best

If you are not in the best financial situation, make a gift! Why not! Taking the time to make gifts for your friends and family, even if it is something as small as a card, is something everyone can appreciate. Sure, it may not be the number one item on their x-mas list, but only the real Grinch could be upset about a gift full of love.

4. Stay Small & Go Local

With large companies thriving during this time of year, it is important to remember those little guys. Try to buy items from local companies, even if it is just stocking-stuffers. If nothing stands out to you, try and go with businesses who give back with their products. Spreading the love never became more easy.

5. Remember the Reason

Typically I am not one to push my faith onto others, but the whole reason for the season is amazing. A little baby sent to save us, the greatest gift anyone could give. Do what you want, whether it be have a nativity set, a star on your tree, attending church or mass, or listen to some Silent Night, but Jesus is the reason for the season.