Are you in the thick of Christmas? If you’re like most people, there seems to be so much to do during the Christmas season. Finding shortcuts and quick and easy tips for Christmas is certainly “in.” Here are 10 Quick and Easy Tips for Christmas:
1. Buy Gift Cards: Yes. The person who invented gift cards must have had busy Christmas seasons. Why spend so much time looking for the perfect gift and risk the chance that it’ll be returned the next day? Personal shopping may be fine for some people on your list, however, gift cards and gift certificates work well in many cases. Buy cards for stores, restaurants or entertainment venues that your family and friends enjoy. This is a definine time saver.
2. Order Take Out: The quick and easy meal is as quick and easy as your local drive-thru. You may not want it every day, but it’s a great alternative for the holiday rush. If you’re worried about the healthiness of your meals, plan ahead to order wholesome items (such as salads, etc.) from the menu rather than give in to the temptation to order unhealthy. Another great Christmas time saver is to:
3. Shop online: I’m allergic to standing in long lines during the Christmas season. Yes…I really am. A lot of my Christmassing is done online where I can peruse the “aisles” without being sandwiched between other eager shoppers. Just click and order. I also appreciate gifts delivered directly to family and friends. It saves me time in mailing and delivering. Be sure to check for shipping dates to insure your gifts are delivered on time.
4. Don’t overschedule: It’s ok to say, “No.” Sometimes, you just can’t be in two places at once. Between concerts and parties and all that merry-making, be sure to take some time for yourself and schedule in some “me” time. You’ll be glad you did.
5. Use short cuts for gift wrapping: Depending on the amount of presents you may have to wrap, gift wrapping can be quite time-consuming. Hire someone (maybe a teenager or a friend in need of extra cash) to do your gift wrapping for you. Or, if you’d like to do-it-yourself, gift bags are a quick option. Also look for time-saving items such as the Scotch pop up tape. It’s a little piece that you wear on your wrist that dispenses pre-cut pieces of tape. I go everywhere with it. It certainly saves me from cutting every one of the billion pieces of tape needed for gift wrapping. Another time saving tip is:
6. Cook extra large meals: If you have one of those days when you can actually prepare a great meal, double the recipe and freeze half for another evening. This way, you prepare two meals at one sitting, saving you time for the future. Another great tip is:
7. Hire a babysitter: Where does this come in for time-saving tips? Well, when you need to run certain errands or go Christmas shopping, it may be faster to go alone. That’s where the babysitter comes in. If you don’t want to hire one, you may want to trade babysitting days with a friend. You take one day while she runs her errands and she can take the children on another day. In addition to getting a babysitter, you may save time for Christmas when you:
8. Buy food items that are already made: I used to be a total homemade-or-nothing kind of gal. I’d bake and deliver throughout the season. While it was fun, I’ve come to accept that I can still give meaningful, enjoyable treats that are bought from elsewhere. Up until last year, I bought specialty pies from a local baker and I delivered them to friends. Friends looked forward to the special baked goods and I supported a local business. This place recently closed down. Now, my friends and I are missing the traditional treat. Guess I’ve got to find a new baker. (: In addition to giving non-homemade items, you may save time when you:
9. Lay out all party clothes ahead of time: I learned this from Barbara Barrington Jones when I heard her speak years ago. When she was training beauty contestants, they were asked to have their complete outfits (clothing, shoes, stockings, earrings, etc.) put together on a hanger. This has become a regular part of my life. When I know of events coming up, I put together my outfits ahead of time. This sure saves me time from trying to find my left shoe when I’m in a rush to get out the door to a party. In addition to laying out your outfits ahead of time, another great tip for Christmas is:
10. Postpone Christmas giving: One Christmas, while still in college and in the middle of final exams and papers, I notified everyone that I would be delivering their gifts in the New Year. I also decided to not send out cards during that time. When Christmas (and final exams) were done, I sent out “Happy New Year” cards. The response? Overwhelming joy. After Christmas, I was able to really concentrate on thoughtful giving to family and friends whose gifts were postponed. Amazingly, the gifts and the cards actually stood out since it didn’t get mixed in with the loads of other presents they received during Christmas.
It also alleviated a lot from my Christmas time (to study, of course,) and I actually enjoyed Christmas, being able to focus on the important things in life. Now, I do a hybrid of that Christmas. I give during the Christmas season to a few…then I save the rest for the New Year. Happy factor way up!
There you have it, My Sweet Friend…10 Quick and Easy Tips for Christmas. May this holiday season be filled with all the joy and merry-making that you so richly deserve!
The Happy Balance Girl