Parents, you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Or just as likely, we’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

Challenge: Reducing Holiday Stress

Holiday Hacks for Less Stress and More Holiday Cheer

Vote up!
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this article

I love the holidays, and I really do try to make the entire month magical for my kids. However, all that magic comes with a price — my sanity. So if you're feeling like me — a little too much holiday stress and not enough holiday magic — we've got to try something different to get us through our holiday to-do list. So whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, or even Festivus, here’s a few holiday hacks to keep this time of year merry and bright for everyone in your house. So cheers to you and someone pass me the spiced wine!


For some reason I always have way too much wrapping paper or never enough. So whichever camp you fall into, put it to work!

  • Got an overabundance of wrapping paper? Use it to decorate what you already have in your home. Wrap pictures that are already hung on your walls to give any room a festive look. Just add some ribbon and bows for cute and easy holiday packages in every room. If you've already wrapped a few presents, put those presents out and let them double as holiday décor.
  • If you run out of wrapping paper when you’re mid-wrap, don’t fret! Mix and match wrapping paper on one package and tie it together with a ribbon in the middle. You can also use craft paper or even aluminum foil for fun and last minute wrapping options.

Got little ones at home? Swap kids with a friend so one day you can shop and then swap again, so the next day she can shop. Team work makes the dream work and play dates will save your sanity this holiday season!

Want to make special treats for your little ones but don’t have the time to bake? Use this hack for a yummy holiday treat. Spread whipped topping onto a cookie sheet and pop it into the freezer. Once frozen, it can be cut into any shape with a cookie cutter: think stars, Christmas trees, gingerbread man, and my favorite, flip the gingerbread man upside down for a reindeer. Then add glitter sprinkles and sugar for a little extra pop to these magic frozen marshmallow. Finish by popping these sweet treats into a mug of hot chocolate. Easy, festive, and adorable.

Put that hot glue gun to work!

  • A little hot glue makes holiday lights stick to outdoor surfaces like brick or cement.
  • Also, there’s no need to buy those super expensive and super huge ornament wreaths when you can make one yourself! Just tape two pool noodles together using duct tape, and hot glue ornaments together and all over the noodles. You’ll make a gorgeous wreath that is perfect for your mantle or to hang outside.

If you’re getting crafty with your kids, keep the mess to a minimum with these hacks.

  • For cookie decorating, put the icing into condiment containers so they can squeeze the icing onto the cookies rather than letting them dig right into the icing container.
  • Create gingerbread house stations by placing all of the ingredients on a cookie sheet. Use small milk, whipping cream, or small cardboard snack containers as the base off their houses — this way the house will need less icing to make and are less likely to fall. You can even put the candy into muffin cups for quick clean up (don’t forget to toss in some of that leftover Halloween candy) and put the icing in a plastic sandwich bag for easy and less-messy decorating.

Related video:

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.