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Tips to Navigate the Holiday Season

Steal This Mom-Approved Budgeting Tip That'll Save You Tons on Holiday Shopping

Comedians and moms Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley have a successful YouTube channel — called IMomSoHard — for good reason: they're flipping hilarious. POPSUGAR caught up with the two funny mamas to get the scoop on how they handle the stress of the holidays, and their tips certainly did not disappoint — and, of course, were injected with humor.

If you can't get enough of Kristin and Jen, be sure to watch them share some holiday shopping tips during a Facebook Live event with Walmart on Dec. 7 between 2 and 3 p.m. ET (and don't forget to watch their hysterical and honest video on swimsuit double standards).

1. To stay under budget, buy one "big" gift and a bunch of smaller "filler" gifts.

"I've learned my Christmas lesson in that the excitement is in opening the presents," Jen said. "There's no 'This one is great' and then 'This one's only OK.' It's the excitement of getting something new. I get them one thing that they really want; for example, my son is all about Hatchimals right now and that's probably going to be his big gift. Then I'll get some other smaller stuff that isn't super fancy. And by 'fancy' I mean anything over $5," she joked.

2. Get your kids to stay away from your tree by letting them decorate their own.

"My mom made decorating a Christmas tree one of the most stressful experiences a person can have," Kristin joked. "My mom had a certain 'tree aesthetic' and you weren't allowed to put an ornament in a place she didn't like. She would be like, 'That's not balanced,' or, 'That's not where it goes.' My mom's great, but she really wanted the tree to look good."

Jen explained that she can be a little particular when it comes to her Christmas trees, too. Her solution? Get three trees and let the kids decorate one exactly how they want. "We've got three trees up right now and every time I walk by one, it takes every bit of control in my body to not move the decorations around. But then I stop and realize, hey, it's my kids' tree. It's very bottom heavy, and there are a lot of empty spaces in the tree."

3. Whatever you do, don't stress over holiday travel.

"My husband is from Houston and both [Jen and I] are from Nebraska. One Christmas when my son was 9 months old, we flew back to Houston, and it was so hard," Kristin explained. "People were so nice and it was still so hard. When we came back we were like, 'OK, that's it, we need to tell people we can't travel until he's 4 years old.' And then, of course, he got older and [my husband and I] were like, 'Wow! We need to have another baby so we can extend this travel ban.'"

Because she definitely prefers hosting over traveling, rather than ditching Christmas altogether, Kristin came up with a solution that might give some other moms pause: hosting Christmas Eve every year instead of traveling to see her extended family. "I've hosted Christmas Eve every year, and I will tell you it's glorious," she said. "If my family's in town, they're welcome to come over; if not, we just have some friends over. It's a big party!"

Jen chimed in with her thoughts on long-distance travel during the holiday season, as well: "My family is still in Nebraska and my husband's family is all back east, so we told them that we can't spend $500 on a plane seat we only use during takeoffs and landings. Most of the time we're walking down the aisle trying to keep everyone from melting down."

Image Source: Getty / Chance Yeh
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