Reading is a huge part of my life. HUGE. I have been reading since the age of three and have not stopped since. Or when I do stop it is only to write something....
10 Holiday Survival Tips
The holidays can be tough for anyone. Many of us are dealing with family. Extended family. Uninvited family. All kinds of family.
1. Stand your ground when it comes to houseguests. This is my number one tip when it comes to surviving any holiday or indeed any holiday situation. Holidays are already crazy around my house and uninvited houseguests can make it so much worse. The cleaning. The rearranging of everything. We don't have that much room as it is and houseguests make my house much smaller. I am an expert when it comes to making hotel reservations and I can find a deal that can put anyone within two miles of my house.
2. Consider not buying gifts for the adults in the family. For the past several years, we have just gotten gifts for the children. We have saved a ton of money and for me, this means less stuff to take back.
3. I shop all year long for gifts and then store them in our basement. This allows me to take advantage of great sale prices and get something for a good deal rather than waiting until the holiday season to buy something.
4. Split up the work. Cooking a big holiday dinner? Take on the turkey and/or the ham. Ask other relatives to cook other parts of the meal. We do this every year and that way, no one is responsible for everything or spends the entire day cooking.
5. Split up the shopping as well. Every year on Black Friday, I shop for several family members because I go out in the wee hours of the morning. I have lists of what everyone is looking for and they gave me money ahead of time. If I don't get the item, the money gets returned. I also have family members looking for things for me as well.
6. I use my Smart Phone as a list maker. I have lists for each family member which include their sizes, things that I think they would like and things that they have mentioned liking. This way, whenever I shop for a gift, whether it is for a birthday gift or a Christmas gift, I am covered. I love getting someone the perfect present and my lists insure that I do this every time.
7. Have your kids make toy lists. Take them shopping before Christmas and let them peruse holiday catalogs. KNOW what your children want. Nothing is worse than something popping up last minute that your child wants. Two years ago, my now five year old told me, “the only thing I want for Christmas is a house for my dollies.” WHAT? She had never talked about this before but I never asked. This was three days before Christmas and after searching all over town, I found every store sold out of the house that she wanted. I ended up buying it on Amazon and paying WAY TOO MUCH for shipping. Plan early.
8. Shop around for trees if you buy a live tree. I have found the cheapest live tree is at our local nursery. It is usually almost half of any place else which is a steal for a live tree. We still spend time looking around and picking the perfect tree.
9. Buy your own gifts. I always buy myself a few small gifts of things that I want for the holidays. I wrap them up and open them on Christmas. I do so much for others during the holidays that I figure I owe it to myself to get a few things. Although I am never surprised, I am happy because I got exactly what I wanted.
10. Finally, plan your holiday cards early. I love to pick out the outfits months in advance and figure out where we will be taking pictures. I even design the card in September or October. This way, when I find the perfect picture, all I have to do is drop it in and order the cards.
DISCLOSURE: I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Tiny Prints blogging program, making me eligible to get a $75 Tiny Prints gift certificate! For more information on how you can participate, click here.
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