Last Minute Holiday Hints

The Holidays are the busiest and craziest time of the year. Between Black Friday, Thanksgiving Dinner, Christmas and New Year's all at once, it's hard for even the most organized Mom to deal with. So, here's a few last-minute hints to help you keep your sanity (without too much egg nog!) Be Santa! That means making your list (and checking it twice). Keep your shopping list in your purse to keep from being overwhelmed or worse – overspending. If you walk into a store and are bedazzled by all the shiny things- you're normal. That's what the stores' merchandiser's jobs are! I get so distracted sometimes I forget how many items I have for each of my 3 kiddos and the DH. Especially during the Thanksgiving/Black Friday shopping, I tend to switch into “SuperMarket Sweep” mode and I start throwing everything into my cart (whether I really need it or not). Having that list can help fight this urge, keep you sane – and help your budget stay sane in the process.
As soon as you start buying, start wrapping. There’s nothing more stressful than tackling a mountain of unwrapped gifts two days before Christmas. I know- my husband and I spent six hours last weekend wrapping. My back was killing me! (I mean, we can't wrap at the kitchen table or the kids will see their stuff, so there I am on the bedroom floor with mountains of gifts and wrapping paper all around.) Save on the cost of wrapping paper by buying it after the holiday each year and stowing it away for next year. You don't have to get Homz Holiday Wrap Organizers - though they are awesome! You can stow away that extra paper in a couple of heavy duty garbage bags. Toss in silica packs from your new shoes and voila! Safe and dry!
To save time and sanity, wrap gifts that go together in all the same paper. For instance, wrap all gifts that will be going with you to your mother-in-law’s on Christmas Eve in the red paper with the gingerbread men. And put all gifts for your friends and neighbors in the blue paper with the snowflakes, etc. We also used to do this with the kids' gifts- we just didn't tell them who had what until Christmas morning!
Cook like a lazy person! Did you know that you can make mashed potatoes during the summer, freeze them, and have them ready for the holidays? Mashed potatoes can be kept in the freezer for months if you use a freezer-friendly recipe and store them properly. Gravy is great when it's from a can or a pouch of powder. Add a few bits and juices and it's just like home made! Rolls can be pre-made and then frozen baked or raw. Pies can be frozen- you buy them that way anyway, right? Even your turkey could be precooked if you really wanted and then heated the day of. Bread based items should be wrapped in plastic wrap before you put them in the microwave to stay moist.
Limit your travel. The holidays are about family, but they are also about togetherness and making memories. If you’re spending your holidays trapped in the car together, driving down icy roads, stressed out, consider ways to travel less.
The Holidays are a time to make memories. Oftentimes the memories we are making are of a stressed-out mom, running around missing out on all the fun because she’s trying to create a perfect moment. Instead, relax and experience the holidays with your family. Between a little planning and taking some of the pressure off, you’ll have a Holiday that would make Norman Rockwell sigh.


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