Humble Holiday Hacks

Joanna Kosinska (

There's no doubt that the Christmas season can be stressful. Planning, shopping, gifting, decorating. To help ease a bit of that stress, I've come up with ten hacks that will hopefully help you get through these last few days of holiday madness. (Although some hacks will be more useful in preparing for next year!)

1. Buy gift cards, bake in batches, and always have extra wine on hand.

For example, a friend you haven't heard from in almost a year calls you up the week before Christmas and asks to meet up for lunch or dinner, a catch-up if you will. You have no idea if she will have a gift for you or not, so you wrap a gift card up in a pretty little box and bow and slide it into your humongous purse. If she DOES have a gift for you, voila! You reach into your purse like you had this planned all along, and you have something for her too! And if she doesn't have a gift for you, you keep your mouth and purse closed (unless you really like her). No foul, no harm. ;)

This also works if you batch-make a food item like hot chocolate on a stick or banana bread.

And for a party? Extra bottles of wine to give to the host are always a good idea! (If you don't use them as hostess gifts, maybe you can use them to de-stress after visiting with family! 😉)

2. No Christmas wrapping paper? No problem!

Anthropologie shopping bags are always super cute! Maybe stores in your area also provide cute paper bags that can be reused for more than just a one-day shopping trip?!
If you don't have an Anthropologie in your area, maybe you have some paper lunch bags? Or brown packing paper? Maybe your five-year old's large easel paper? Newspaper? Add some colorful ribbon, make a potato stamper, decorate with paint, etc! Fun, unique, special, creative, and festive! The gift receiver will feel so loved!

3. Along the same lines, create your own Christmas card.

Or get your child to do it.

Either way, your card will definitely make more of an impression on the receiver than anything store bought ever would!

4. Use items in your home and from outside to decorate.

Cut paper into delicate, intricate snowflakes that can be hung on your windows or from the ceiling.

Bring in pinecones to adorn the less-decorated places in your home.

A few other ideas… 

5. Fill your home with a wonderful Christmas fragrance.

Check out a few ideas here.

6. Shop Early.

And buy/prepare Christmas cards early.

Do you really want to be out in the holiday rush?

7. Parents, take your kids Christmas shopping for their own clothes (if they are old enough), so they can pick out what they want. Then mix up the pieces by putting them into boxes before you get them to help you with the wrapping. They already know what they are getting, so no temptation to look in the box before wrapping! (Or you could always threaten I suppose! … If you look,  I'm taking that gift and all of your others right back to the store!)

You can also wrap whole outfits together, so that underwear, which is already a boring but necessary gift, doesn't have to be opened alone.

8. If you are a "camera mom/dad", set up a recorder while everyone opens gifts and just forget about it. Enjoy the day; enjoy seeing your children's smiling faces. Spend time with your family. You can worry about what footage you got tomorrow. ;)

9. Do Christmas the Catholic way.

Twelve days, that is. Beginning Christmas day.

So instead of rushing to get everything taken down and put away by New Year's Day, relax and enjoy even more time with your family. The holidays only come around once a year!

10. And because I know I'm forgetting something…

BuzzFeed put together an awesome list of holiday hacks that will knock your socks off! Check it out!

What are some holiday hacks you use to get through the season?

Linking up with Tamara Gerber
of Confessions of a Part Time Working Mom

for #TopTenThursday

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