The holidays are for spending quality time with your loved ones and friends. Not for going completely ballistic when someone accidentally picked up the wrong brand of cream soup for the green bean casserole. Yep! I’ve been there. It’s not pretty folks. Not pretty at all.
So, what should you do to make everything go more smoothly when it comes to this holiday season?
Here are my no-fail tips that kept me sane on more than several occasions and could help you save time too.
- Let the Kids Decorate the Tree Without Your Help- I know some of you are already shaking your head NO, but come on, your kids want to help with decorating too. I like things a certain way, but I’m not going suck the fun out of making memories by yelling that there’s way too much of this or that on one side of the tree. Sure, if it looks like the tree is in danger of tipping over from the added weight, then by all means intervene. If you must have a tree your way, put one up in another part of the house and make it look all decked out.
- Make Ahead Meals or Take-Out – Let’s not kid ourselves. It’s so much easier when someone else is feeding your brood. Besides, it’s best to save your energy for all the cooking you’ll probably be in charge of on Christmas day.
- Unless you Know Exactly What the Person Wants, opt for a Gift Card- Why waste time searching for the perfect gift if that person didn’t specifically state it was what they wanted. Plus, gift cards can be picked up anywhere at any time. Perfect gift hunting for a person with an already hectic schedule.
- When the Kids are on Christmas Vacation Keep Them Occupied with Activities- I don’t care if it’s Netflix, board games, arts and crafts, just make sure to have plenty of things for them to do so they won’t get easily bored and come bother you every 5 seconds.
- Get groceries for Your Holiday Festivities at Least 3-4 Days Beforehand- Do not wait till the day before to get everything. That’s pure insanity! Plus, some of the popular seasonal items might be sold out by then. Write your list and check it twice when you’re shopping so you are less likely to have to run back for something you needed to complete your 7-course meal.
- Make the Kids Wrap the Gifts- Seriously, let them do all your dirty work. I’ve never known a person to really care about the wrapping paper more than the gift they’re receiving.
- Assign Each Person in Your Household a Room to Keep Clean in Case Unexpected Visitors Pop In- It’s embarrassing having others see your house the way you often see it because of your animals, I mean your lovely kids. As an incentive for completing said task, they get to pick something to do after the holidays are over. You know as well as I do, bribery works. Especially with kids and teens.
- Listen to Music- Even if you prefer to listen to anything but Christmas melodies, music is good for the soul! It can really get you in the mood for the holidays too.
- Keep Extra Gender-Neutral Gifts for Adults, Kids and Teens in Your House- I cannot tell you how many times I need a last-minute gift and don’t have the time to blink, much less have time to run out and find one.
- Don’t Wait Until Your Kids Christmas Concert to Find out Something Doesn’t Fit- I’ve had 20 years of experience with this and let me tell you, it’s not fun searching all over town for a black pair of dressy shoes 3 hours before your kid must perform. Kids seem to go through growth spurts at odd times of the year. At least my kids do. I learned to make them try on costumes, clothes, and shoes 2-3 days leading up to their performance to give me enough time to find whatever needs replacing.
If you follow my tips, I guarantee you’ll be able to sit back and enjoy making all new memories with your family.