How to Get Ready for the Holidays

By Gwen Burckley Gibson

Every year the holidays seem to arrive faster than the last.  I used to start shopping in July, but in the past few years I’ve been ordering presents online – SUCH a time saver!  Here are my top tips for having a (mostly) stress-free holiday season:

  1. Order presents online.  I love Amazon for the instant price comparisons and the one-click purchase option. I have the app on my tablet and phone for quick shopping at any time.  It helps to have access to your children and grandchildren's “wish list” on Amazon.  Also, being able to view previous orders helps to keep a record of what’s in hiding waiting to be wrapped!

  2. Pre-plan the holiday meals well in advance.  My menu plan, shopping lists and “day of schedule” from previous years are saved on my pc. All I have to do is a bit of adjusting, and in just a few minutes I have this year printed out and ready to go. 

  3. Search for new recipes on Pinterest and Yum.  Both apps are on my tablet and phone, which makes it a breeze to search at any time and save recipes for reference later.

  4. Assign some of the meal to family and friends.  You don’t need to have complete control (it’s much easier that way) and they appreciate being able to help.  Be certain to allow for preferences and abilities when you dole out assignments.  You might even ask what their favorite Holiday recipe is, then suggest that they make and bring it ready to serve.

  5. Being somewhat of a germaphobe I take Zinc and extra C daily to help ward off colds.  Zicam swipes are great if you’re going to be out in public. And of course, there are disinfectant wipes and antibacterial gel in the car. (I abhor being sick, and it’s very rare that I am.)

  6. E-mail greeting cards are nice, but they do not replace the real thing (in my humble opinion.) Special people deserve special treatment.  True, I’ve whittled down my list over the years.  The list is saved as a spreadsheet on the computer and I print the envelopes from the computer, but I add a personal greeting to each card.

  7. Family newsletters.  What a great idea!  I personally do not have the time, but if everyone contributed and one person created the document it would be a very nice addition to your greeting cards.

  8. Whoever thought up present bags is a genius!  I save them every year.  My children laugh at this, but it saves money and time. (Yes, we flatten and save the tissue paper too!)

  9. Schedule time to relax.  A hot bath with Epsom salts soothes tired muscles; a manicure and pedicure at the spa feels luxurious; and at least an hour set aside on the day of the event to primp and do some deep breathing is a must.

  10. Hire someone to help with the pre-holiday cleaning.  Even if you can only afford to have them deep clean bathrooms and address the baseboards, windows and fans it’s worth the investment.  Be certain to read our article on "How to Hire Domestic Help" before you invite strangers into your home.

 

Happy Holidays to you and your family!

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