“Holidays are an expensive trial of strength. The only satisfaction comes from survival.”
-- Jonathan Miller
The holidays should be a time to feel blessed, not stressed! Follow these tips to save time, effort and energy this holiday season!
First, stop beating yourself up for not picking up gifts for everyone on your list all year long and for not having your cards addressed before Thanksgiving. This is the home stretch – time to focus your efforts on what you can do.
Presto Presents– Technology is your friend. Use the power of the Internet to pick, click and ship gifts for everyone on your list, from clients to cousins. Gift certificates to sites like Amazon.com, Gap.com and CrateandBarrel.com will appeal to a wide range of folks. If you must get actual presents, hit a few big stores at off-hours and knock off many items on your list in one shot.
Instant Wrapping– I’m a big fan of tissue paper and gift bags. Super-speedy and no tape, ribbon or scissors needed.
Go-to Hostess Gifts– One for all and all for one. Get a slew of one great item – a nice bottle of olive oil, beautiful kitchen towels, fancy nuts and/or chocolate, or the tried and true gift soaps or bottle of wine. Pick up a bunch of gift bags and you’re good to go.
Speedy Decorating– Go minimalist. Candles are quick, inexpensive and festive. And you can use them year-round and don’t use up space to store them.
Food without Fuss – Let someone else cook. Put pre-prepared foods on nice serving dishes with a little garnish and no one will be the wiser. Ask your guests to contribute dishes and lighten your cooking load. You can hire a caterer to cook entire meals or just a few key dishes.
Quick Cards– Again, technology is your friend. Cut and paste a photo into an e-mail and you’re done, or send an electronic card at egreetings.com or similar sites. If you really love the idea of sending actual cards, you can extend your deadline by a few extra days and send New Year’s cards this time around.
Take a deep breath and remember that the true spirit of the season doesn’t require any of the above. Spend your time with friends and loved ones, not running around trying to fulfill an idealized vision of the holidays that may not fit your current lifestyle.