We all want to enjoy the holiday season, so here are some tips that help keep me sane during the holiday season! If you have some of your own feel free to add them in the comments!
1. Start your shopping early: OK, we might have missed the boat on this one. But the stores and shopping this time of year stress me out – so I shop all year to reduce the amount of time I have to deal with the rushed masses!
3. Homemade Holidays: Sometimes gifts aren’t in the budget for everyone. Remember it’s the thought that counts! You can always make a gift if you’re able or purchase from great vendors on Etsy and similar sites. (Psst I’ll have some great DIY gift ideas in the next week!)
5. Plan Ahead – Make a date and have fun! This is not just for parties but doing the mundane parts like wrapping. Get together with friends, grab a glass of wine or crank up the music, You may go online and buy beats for your new song. Focus on wrapping the presents, decorating cookies or even writing out the cards. We only do this one time of year -enjoy it 🙂
6. The presents don’t have to be perfect -Yes, we all want each present to be packaged beautifully. But really, unless Martha Stewart is your guest people wont mind. Kids rip into the presents so fast they wont notice if it’s a bit crooked. While you’re wrapping your presents save the extra parts you cut off and don’t crunch them up. You might need them to slide in where the paper doesn’t meet (I did this a lot today!) And if Martha is your guest, just have her wrap the presents anyhow!
7. Make New Traditions – The holidays are more about being with your friends and family than it is about the gifts (we still like the gifts). But do something fun with your family! Whether it’s something silly like a Pirate Themed dinner or having The Elf on the Shelf – it’s something your kids and you will appreciate later!
8. Make Candy or Cookies as gifts – I did this last year when money was tight (and our oven was out!) You can personalize the gifts however you want! They’re a wonderful treat this time of year, and holiday calories so they don’t really count.. right? You can find some great recipes here and more will be coming soon!
9. Match Your Presents – I know this one sounds odd, but for each person I have gifts for I only use one wrapping paper. Just think of it this way – every time you take presents in a bag or a box to a party the bows and tags usually fall off. By using only one paper per person, you can quickly identify them if that happens. I grab paper after the holidays at 75% off and have a big enough variety I can easily use one paper per person. I also only put a name tag on one of the packages and have the same color bows on each package – so if they fall off I know where they go later.
10. Use the right amount of paper when wrapping – I know gift bags are so easy, but they can get very pricey! I prefer to wrap the presents, especially if they are large ones. I save the cut off parts for smaller gifts, but measure your paper to make sure it fits around the gift before you cut (just quickly wrap it around it). If you have several gifts for one person and want them all to match – make sure you have enough on the roll you grabbed.
12. Organize your Gifts -This can be done before wrapping by who they are intended for, but is a MUST for when they are done. Separate them into bags or boxes for the parties they have to go to. This will reduce the stress of finding them as your run out the door.
13. Not sure what to give? Gift cards are some of the best options if you are on the ropes with a gift idea. Sometimes the best gift is the option to choose your own gift. My grandparents give everyone gift cards each year, it saves them a ton of time shopping and trying to figure out gifts we might only sort of like – and it’s great for us. Each year I’ve gotten something great I’ve wanted with the gift card.
14. Over Shopped? Donate! Yes, we all do it! Did you start shopping in January or even this month and bought 20 things for 1 person? What are you going to do with it all? You could store it but there is a chance that they wont like Angry Birds for the next 20 years.. Consider donating things to shelters, to Toys for Tots or other local charities. As much as we have there is someone out there who is in need.
15. And most importantly – Have fun! Yes, the holidays can be stressful. It scares me driving sometimes this time of year – and it’s not because of the icy roads! Sometimes we need to just let the small things go, smile and enjoy ourselves. Don’t sweat the small stuff, enjoy the season and the time with your family. Grab a cup of cocoa, pop in your favorite holiday movie and have a good time.
Happy Holidays everyone!
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