The holidays are coming up rapidly and there’s still a million things on your to-do list. Unless you can clone yourself before then, you don’t see how you’ll get it all done. So don’t – take some shortcuts and enjoy a much slower-paced holiday season this year.
Use the gift-wrapping option when buying gifts: Some businesses throw in a complimentary gift-wrapping option when you buy something at their store. Other places offer inexpensive gift wrapping. If you hate taking the time to wrap gifts or you just seem to have no talent for it at all, you should consider letting the experts take it over.
Don’t make all your own desserts: If you love to bring intricate holiday desserts to all the Christmas parties you attend, but you stress out when you think about how long it will take you to bake your masterpieces, you may be making too much extra work for yourself.
You might want to re-examine your priorities and decide if the time you spend baking is really helping you do what’s important to you. If it feels like you don’t have enough time to simply enjoy your loved ones, you could cut back on the amount of time you spend in the kitchen. Chances are, your relatives and loved ones are more excited about seeing you than getting a piece of your prized fruit cake.
Let your children help: No matter what their ages are, children can offer some quality help, even though it might take some micromanaging. Even toddlers can help clean up by picking things up off the floor or dusting. And children who are a little older can help sweep, vacuum or fold towels.
Children should have responsibilities in the household, just like adults do. It will give them a sense of independence and accomplishment, and it will give their parents a helping hand at the time of the year when they most need it.
Shop late at night or online: If you feel like you spend half your life standing in lines while Christmas shopping, there’s an easy way to avoid that and cut down on those wasted minutes. Go shopping when the crowds are tucked into their warm beds – late night or early morning. The aisles won’t be as crowded and the lines won’t be as long.
To save even more time, do some internet shopping. It will make shopping a breeze and save you some precious minutes that you can devote to another holiday-related task.
Make a thorough grocery list before you shop: Last minute trips to the grocery store are a big time-buster during the holiday season. Before you go shopping, write down all the dishes you plan to make, and then compile your grocery shopping list from that.
Skip a Christmas party: If you get invited to a lot of Christmas parties, but feel like Ebenezer Scrooge trying to make time for them all, there’s nothing wrong with calling in sick for one or two of them. Keep the family get-togethers or the most important parties on your calendar and let the hosts of the other ones know that you regrettably can’t make it.
Christmases are far too precious and few to let pass by you without trying to make the most of every moment.
Shannon Serpette is a mother of two and an award-winning journalist and freelancer who lives in Illinois. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org