Here are some helpful tips for getting through the holidays…
Be prepared with suggestions when someone asks what you or your kids want as gifts. If you’re at a loss, ask for a gift certificate. Return the favor and give gift certificates whenever possible.
Display holiday cards until New Years Day, then discard them. You’re not expected to keep pictures of children other than your own.
Don’t keep gifts you don’t want. If you can’t return it, give it away. You won’t feel any better about disposing of it in a year or two, so you may as well do it now.
Now is the time to clean out the playroom and children’s bedrooms. Tell your children that they can’t get anything new unless they make room on their shelves by donating what they no longer use.
Teachers like to send home all of the semester’s artwork just before winter vacation. It only takes a few minutes to look through the pile when it comes home. Most of it should be discarded. If you don’t do it immediately, you’ll end up shuffling the same pile around for the next 6 months. Then, you’ll discard it anyway.
When packing for a holiday vacation, think light. New airline regulations levy a charge for suitcases that weigh more than 50 pounds and most charge extra for more than one piece of luggage per person. If you’ve been accustomed to traveling with large heavy pieces, invest in some lighter weight canvas/nylon carryalls.
Before starting your holiday shopping, search your closets for those gifts you bought throughout the year and then promptly forgot.
Keep a supply of hostess gifts and gift wrap handy. A bottle of wine is always appropriate and can be put in a pretty bag in seconds.
If you entertain, keep a list of everything you prepare or order. Make notes about what you’ll need more or less of next year.
Create a spreadsheet of all of your addresses in Excel or another similar software program. This enables you to make labels for holiday cards that can be easily updated each year.
Distribute your holiday tips a few weeks before the holiday. The recipients will be able to enjoy the gift when it’s needed most, and you’ll be able to cross one big thing off your list.
Get ready for next year by keeping a list of all of the holiday gifts you give this year. In addition to family, include your hairdresser, housekeeper, nanny, doorman, garage attendant, secretary, teachers, and postal carrier. You’ll no longer have to wonder if you’re forgetting anyone, whether you’re giving anyone less than last year, or how much you need to budget.