With the holiday season in full swing, save yourself some time and hassle by following several of these holiday hacks! Focus on spending time with your family and make lasting memories instead of sweating about the small stuff that makes people crazy during the winter months.
- Make Room for New Stuff
Let your kids be Santa by cleaning out their toy bins and closets, and donating all unneeded items to charity. Many schools and churches host clothing and toy drives during the holiday season, so take advantage of these events to lighten the load of ‘stuff’ in your home and spread good cheer to those in need.
- Dollar Store Decor
If simplicity is the name of your game, hit up the Dollar Store for seasonal decor or party necessities. A great place to find inexpensive, yet festive plates, napkins, and small decorations, the Dollar Store’s true beauty comes in the form of cheap wrapping paper. Why spend real money on something that’s just going to be ripped up and thrown out? Take the plunge and find the hidden treasures in the depths of the Dollar Store! For bonus points, skip gift labels for paper wrapped items. Use a marker to write the “To” and “From” on packages. Those pretty noel-boarded labels are just going to be thrown away anyway.
- Up-cycle Wrapping Paper
Instead of throwing away large pieces of discarded wrapping paper, use a paper shredder to create colorful filling for the next batch of boxed or bagged gifts. If your kids need a project, purchase some butcher paper and let them design their own stamped wrapping paper with washable paints and sponges in holiday shapes!
- Give Experiences or Continuous Gifts
Instead of purchasing more ‘stuff,’ try gifting experiences or edible presents. Think about signing a relative up for a gourmet food-of-the-month club. From pie to bacon and beyond, Amazing Clubs is a great resource for spreading holiday cheer all year long as your favorite uncle receives a new flavor of jerky or wine each month! Have a friend or family member who loves opera or enjoys going to the theater? Look into purchasing tickets for local concerts, theaters, or sporting events. If your family is large and wants to limit the amount of presents for family gatherings, suggest an ornament exchange in lieu of large gifts. Simply draw names and purchase a special ornament for the person drawn!
- Shop Online & Create a Deadline
To save time and sanity, do a large amount of Christmas shopping and try to finish before December 15th. Shipping is usually free after spending a set amount and beats carrying boxes and bags around the mall. There are also lots of online sales and deals during the holiday season. Who doesn’t love ordering gifts from the comfort of their own couch or recliner?
- Smart Storage
Make next year’s tree decorating a snap by wrapping Christmas lights around the frame of a hanger to keep strands from tangling. Use egg cartons or small plastic cups to store and separate ornaments. Purchase a plastic or cloth, zip-up gift wrapping tote to easily store your gift wrapping rolls and supplies under the bed or hanging in a closet. Protect wreaths and awkwardly-shaped lawn decorations by placing them in old garment bags or plastic dry cleaning bags. Use the bags simply as a protective covering, or hang them up in your garage or attic for extra storage!
Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private SchoolsImage by Batteries in a Flash