It's Thanksgiving eve and I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off! It got me thinking about how others "survive" the holidays. Are you like me? Do you wait till the last minute and make a mad rush to get everything accomplished? Or do you start out weeks or maybe months in advance?
Here are my 10 Holiday Survival Tips:
1. Organize, organize, organize. I can't stress this enough! Even though I am running around tonight like a chicken with my head cut off, I still have my lists going. I have a list of things to do tomorrow - a list of things to buy Friday in preparation for Vicky's birthday party this weekend - a list of gifts to get - a grocery list. Keeping a list helps me from having total chaos. If you aren't a person who does lists, try it out. I bet you'll be surprised at how easy it is to keep things in check, so to speak, when you have a list to go by.
2. Plan ahead. If you are hosting a gathering for the holiday, sit down when you have some quiet time and think about the people who will be attending and what food you'll be serving. Does Uncle Pete have a onion allergy? Is lil Samantha gluten intolerant? Is cousin Julie a vegetarian? You don't want to wait till the last minute trying to come up with food ideas that will work for all your guests.
3. Baking! If you have the room or a deep freeze, don't be afraid to start baking ahead of time. There are plenty of baked goodies that can be made weeks in advance and frozen and still delicious. Just make sure to wrap everything properly to keep it from getting freezer burn or dried out and you'll be good to go. I remember my mom doing this when I was a kid and I'd sneak into the deep freeze and sneak a frozen chocolate chip cookie - oh they were so good frozen like that.
4. Handmade. Consider handmade gifts this year. Some of my favorite gifts have been the things that I know someone put a lot of heart and soul (and maybe blood, sweat and tears lol) into. In the summer you can make jams and jellies from all those fresh berries you picked. Grab a jar of each and a pretty basket, add the jars of jam/jelly, a nice bottle of wine, a cup wine glasses, a gourmet box of crackers, a couple fingertip towels and you've got a nice gift for someone. The sky's the limit - that or your imagination! LOL!
5. Shop ahead! Just because it is July doesn't mean you can't think about Christmas gifts. This summer I got numerous gifts for my kids at K-Mart. They had a 50% off sale on already reduced toys. I spent $30 and got remote controlled trucks, My Little Ponies, Disney Princess, Barbie, and other items. When you see an incredible sale, take it. Rather than spend $ all at once, spread it out over the year and pick up things when you see them on sale.
6. Don't overextend yourself! Don't feel obligated to say "yes" to everyone and anyone. It is better to take on a couple projects that you can really pour your heart and soul into, then a dozen projects that are done half arsed! Don't be afraid to say "no". Only commit to those things that really speak to your heart. Make priorities. And don't forget to keep yourself on that list of priorities. If you are rundown, then no one wins!
7. Help! Don't be afraid to enlist help! Have a gathering at your house? Then don't be afraid to ask/delegate some things to your guests. Most people (ok, most normal people lol) won't mind being asked to bring along something to contribute to the meal. It can be something as simple as some holiday napkins or a green salad or a bottle of wine. Maybe you know that Aunt Pam makes a fabulous apple pie - ask her if she'd like to make one - tell her how much you enjoy it and what an honor it would be to have her pie at your party.
8. Breathe! Take time to enjoy the holidays. Sit down with the kids and watch a Christmas movie. Pop some popcorn, make some hot chocolate (or frozen hot chocolate if you are feeling bold lol), curl up on the couch and just veg out. The most important thing at the holidays is family - make sure to enjoy your family!
9. Batteries! It seems that all toys these days take a plethora of batteries of all different sizes. Remember to stock up ahead of time, lest you have a bunch of grumpalumps on Christmas morning when they can't play with their toys cause they have no batteries. Nothing worse than getting that new handheld gaming device and no battery! LOL! One thing I like to do, is as I buy a toy, jot down on a sheet of paper what size battery it takes and how many, this way right before Christmas, I can go out and get all the batteries I need. Be prepared!
10. Decorations! Take your time putting up the decorations - don't get so rushed that you through together your tree and everything else and then never enjoy it. For us, the Christmas cards we receive are part of our decorations. We hang them around the doorways in the living room and we get to reflect all season on all the loved ones who sent us cards that year. A great place to get Christmas cards, is Tiny Prints. Tiny Prints Christmas cards are adorable cards and they really have things to offer for every taste and want.
Tiny Prints provides stylish, modern and unique stationery from photo cards to personalized greeting cards to thank you cards and business cards. Offering exclusive designs from the nation’s top designers, easy card personalization, a powerful preview engine and top-notch customer service and paper quality, their designs have been lauded by numerous television networks, publications and celebrities. With Tiny Prints by your side the Holidays will be a cinch! They offer adorable Thanksgiving Cards, Christmas Cards, Hanukkah Cards, and even New Years Cards. All fully customizable and personalizable.
About Tiny Prints:
Tiny Prints helps you get together, keep in touch and share your love—one little card at a time. Tiny Prints was started in 2003 by three friends and a dream. With a shared a love of babies and an affinity for beautiful paper, they set out to create a stationery company that would offer the experience of a local boutique with the ease of an online retailer. Specializing in the celebration of all of life's special occasions, we're thrilled to offer a fresh selection of exclusive designs, from birth announcements and baby shower invitations to personal stationery and more, delivered with the best customer service you can find online or in stores.
Stop by the Tiny Prints Blog, become a fan of Tiny Prints on Facebook and follow Tiny Prints on Twitter @TinyPrints to discover news, trends and creative inspiration for social stationery, family celebrations and so much more!
More info: http://www.tinyprints.com
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