November 30, 2010

10 Holiday Survival Tips!

As we all know, the holidays can be very stressful. TwitterMoms and Tiny Prints are sponsoring a blogging promotion about Holiday Survival Tips. This is our first year as parents and we have a few special things planned. One of them being our first family photo. My sister will also be spending the holidays with us this year! A few of these tips can help your holidays become more enjoyable as well as memorable. I will be using them myself to make sure I am not stressed out while trying to take care of our new baby. Hopefully some of these will help you too!

1. Start decorating early. Pull out Christmas decorations and take inventory just after Thanksgiving. This way you can take your time and not feel rushed. Make it a special family tradition to place ornaments on the tree.

2. Make a list of all people to buy gifts for and what you have purchased. It is very easy to loose track of what you have and haven't bought. This also assists you in not over spending. 

3. Start holiday shopping early. Doing this you will not only save time but also save money. This will ensure that you are not out scrambling on Christmas Eve. Wrap gifts as you go. Don't wait until Christmas Eve to wrap all of those presents and put them under the tree. Spend that time with your family enjoying Christmas Eve.

4. Take time for yourself. Even if it is just reading a magazine or having a quiet cup of coffee at Starbucks. No reason to feel guilty. Remember that a less stressed wife and mom is important too!

5. Bake Christmas cookies ahead of time and freeze. Cookies stay fresh if baked and cooled, then sealed in plastic bags and frozen. Sugar cookies can be defrosted and decorated just before needed. 

6. Shop online. Save the time that you would spend searching for a parking space and sit in the comfort of your home. Many online retailers are even offering free shipping.

7. Plan holiday meals in advance. Pick up the majority of your groceries the week before Christmas. This way the only things that need to be purchased at the last minute are baked goods and fruits/veggies. Ask for help. Have people bring items for family dinners. Everyone loves to share their special dish. 

8. Use the USPS' online label printing and flat rate package shipping services. This allows you to ship from home and request package pickups from your postal carrier.

9. Do your deep home cleaning in advance. Cleaning at the last minute is not only stressful but tiring. If the major things are done in advance then all that needs to be done for gatherings is a little straightening up and surface cleaning.

10. Order Christmas cards online. Retailers like Tiny Prints will even address and mail them for you. With so many to choose from and their mailing service, I know I won't be waiting in line for stamps at the post office.

Disclosure: I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Tiny Prints blogging program, making me eligible to get a $75 Tiny Prints gift certificate! For more information on how you can participate, click here.

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