It seems like overnight the Christmas lights went up, the Holiday music was switched on and toy commercials began playing on tv. All of a sudden the Christmas season is here. Ho ho ho.
For once, I feel like I have it under control and I am armed with a list of time-saving, stress-busting tips:
- Shop in stores that offer gift-wrapping services, so you don’t have to do it yourself.
- Use professional delivery services to send out gifts – even within the city. It’s economical, reliable, and saves you time.
- Keep your menus simple. Prepare a few signature home-cooked meals, and order the rest from your favorite restaurant or caterer.
- Get everyone in the family involved in decorating your home. It may not look picture perfect or polished, but everyone gets to join in on the fun, and it makes for great memories.
- Give gifts that are easy to wrap, such as books that need only to be tied with a ribbon and a card. Or give plants and herbs in nice terracotta pots. These gifts are not expensive, and don’t need to be wrapped.
- Don’t shop with your kids – they slow you down. Instead, shop with your friends. They can give you great advice during indecisive moments.
- Bring a huge bag to stuff all your purchases into – it’s easier to carry just one bag, and you help save the environment, too.
- It’s easier and faster to stuff gifts inside gift bags, instead of wrapping each one.
- If you are unable to buy gifts for everyone on your list, hand out personalized gift vouchers, such as “free movie and popcorn,” redeemable anytime.
- Despite the Christmas rush, try to find the time to do a quick workout or exercise. It will give you an energy boost and will help end your day on a high note.
- Teach your children to focus on what they intend to give this Christmas rather than on what they will receive. This will change the way they view Christmas and will teach them to quickly respond to people in need.
- Discuss your holiday schedule with the kids. Show them a calendar, and tell them your planned activities. They are also enjoying their holiday from school and conflict may arise when they don’t get to do what they expected to do during their break. The rushed home life and endless parties can be very stressful for kids, so giving them a heads-up will help them manage their own expectations.
- Identify the tasks your kids can help out with during the holidays. The kids can wrap their own gifts (Don’t sweat the crumpled wrapping or uneven tape!) and label them. Older kids can help deliver gifts to neighbors by walking or riding a bike. Giving baked goodies? Ask them to help in the preparations and packaging.